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One Word - Oneword

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write...more
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Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write about it. Click "Go" and the page will load with the cursor in place. Don't pause to think; just start writing whatever that particular word inspires, and keep your fingers typing, (or pen moving), until time is up. WOW sums it up in "one word!" This activity builds creative fluency and flexibility! One word of caution: before you click on the button to submit, you must type your name and email. Students do not HAVE to submit their work. Carefully check your school's policy. See suggestions below for how to deal with this effectively in the classroom.

This tool also has a "read" section where you can see what others have written. Since this section is unmoderated and open to the public, it could contain writings not appropriate for the classroom. Stick with the writing prompts page to avoid this issue or prescreen before sharing.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), journals (21), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Oneword can easily be displayed on your interactive classroom whiteboard at the front of class or as an inspirational "sidebar" as students enter class. Preview that day if you plan to display the public submissions, since they are unmoderated! Teachers may use their school email (or free gmail account) address for submissions. When working on individual computers, you may want your students to write their entries offline and save them for the class to submit to a single account. The whole tedious task of entering student names and email addresses can be alleviated by the teacher signing up and creating a free account. This will also provide you with a continually expanding list of more "oneword" features and give you access to all of your entries in one place. Another option of course is keep it old school; students open their journals and just write. Like many other familiar writing prompts, they can be used in a number of ways, including daily warm-up activities, journal entries, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished" activity. The element of surprise is inherent in Oneword, which provides built in motivation, as students, ready-to-write, wait for the word to appear on the screen and then, without hesitation... Go! This is a spontaneous exercise in flow; therefore you may want to revisit these one minute entries and choose some for revising and editing into a cohesive piece at the end of a week or other designated time period. You can also use the prompts for student volunteers to model writing techniques on your interactive whiteboard. Have students brainstorm lists of words that would be good writing prompts that are only "one word." ESL/ELL students will improve vocabulary with such brainstorms. Teenagers can try something new by creating an interactive book online with the collection of various different entries for one word. Not sure how to do it? Create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Because the site is not moderated, any unsavory or objectionable entries are on full display. I did not request a membership so I don't know if there is a way for members to flag inappropriate comments. Not for my upper elementary kids, though I may use the idea off line. Ann, PA, Grades: 1 - 5

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PuzzleMaker - Discovery

Grades
1 to 9
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Here's every parent or teacher's dream: a site that helps you make your own puzzles, word games, and math puzzlers. There is a selection of almost a dozen different formats, ...more
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Here's every parent or teacher's dream: a site that helps you make your own puzzles, word games, and math puzzlers. There is a selection of almost a dozen different formats, each of which can be customized to meet your specific needs. Choose the puzzle type you want from the drop-down menu. Both adults and learners can create games!

tag(s): crosswords (18), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create your puzzles by following the simple directions. These can be used both online and in print form. You or your students can create games for use on an interactive whiteboard (students highlight the answers in different colors). Have students create their own to challenge classmates! If you have kinesthetic learners or those with weak fine motor skills who have trouble with pencils, the whiteboard is a real help. Make it a center. Build a class collection of student-made games and puzzles for use over and over. Tip: If you take a screenshot of a word search or print it to a pdf, you can save it electronically. Screenshots: Prtscrn key on a Windows machine, then PASTE into a document; Command+shift+4 on a Mac; press both buttons at once on an iPad to save a screenshot to the camera roll.

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
42 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership in this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or using templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire thing online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books in a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), writing (358)

In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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PocketMod - PocketMod.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space ...more
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This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space to lines to calendars or checklists. Then print the single sheet (and run copies!) for a student "organizer" useful for homework assignments, long-term project deadlines, checklists, even student-made study guides. Students use the booklets the old fashioned way: by WRITING in them; but the clever, customizable format lets you teach organizational skills in a way that works.

See a sample PocketMod checklist, notes, and calendar booklet (with a separate page of folding directions) and one made from a PDF of the Pennsylvania Science and Technology Standards, converted using the free downloadable software.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Go to PocketMod and follow the simple drag-and-drop visual screen to create the PocketMod from their many organizer options. Print and fold (NO Acrobat Reader required). More skilled users should consider downloading the free "PDF to PocketMod" converter that will take any pdf document and format it to the small, foldable format. If you have handouts in pdf format or can make them from your scanner/copier, you can make ANYTHING into a PocketMod. The converter assumes you have Acrobat Reader.

Have students design their own study guides before a chapter test or maintain a project checklist to be submitted along with the completed project to build better organizational skills. Warning: Students will quickly learn that PocketMod is a great way to make CHEAT SHEETS. Be forewarned of student cleverness!
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms - Karen Janowski

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design...more
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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design for Learning, is a concept promoting learning for all learners using assistive technology to promote motivated, strategic, flexible, lifelong learners. UDL reduces barriers and offers support and challenge for each individual learner. Create a free account to make your own wiki or to join in another wiki. Some available resources are free text-to-speech, graphic organizers, multimedia and digital storytelling, study skills tools, literacy tools, writing tools, collaborative tools, research tools, math tools, and tools that compensate for handwriting issues.

tag(s): differentiation (47), graphic organizers (43), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Refer to this site when you have a struggling learner who needs more support or the student who needs a challenge. Dig through these sites to use in your classroom. Go down the list and incorporate two a week. Many are also reviewed in more detail on TeachersFirst, so don't forget to search for our in-depth reviews to learn more. Ask your student technology crew to investigate and find their favorite from a list of three sites. Add to your class website as a reference. Use this site at Back to School Night to help parents jump into educational technology! Add more to the list! This only opens the doors to technology.

Comments

Deborah, LA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Sound Sleeping - Flashaltman

Grades
K to 12
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate...more
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate background music perfect for meditation, yoga, napping, writing, or quiet reflection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), mental health (26), senses (28), sound (100), sounds (68), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Enhance student listening ability with this sound-mixing tool. Ask students to visit this site to create their own musical mix. Afterward, ask others to guess the tracks in the music. Students can also identify which speaker the soundboard's pan tool is sending various sounds. Activities such as these are the perfect addition to a science unit about the five senses. Consider having students create a their own personal mix to use while learning deep breathing, practicing creative visualizations, or engaging in class relaxation exercises. You could also plan these sounds during creative writing exercises or independent reading time. Headphones or speakers are necessary for this site, if you don't wish to share with the entire class. Students in need of "cooling off" time may enjoy playing Bubble Burst. Choose to create music with the vibes soundboard and student creations will automatically play with Flickr photographs of nature. Emotional support teachers may find this tool useful in helping students develop self-control mechanisms. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter and suggest ways to enhance relaxation techniques at home.

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Preceden - Matt Mazur

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the...more
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the sequence of events in several different ways. You can input your own time increments such as by day, week, month, year, decade, etc. In addition, you can create your own labels for events. You need to create a FREE account to make a timeline. Timelines can be embedded on your blog or shared by url.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Create an ever-growing timeline throughout the school year by adding events discussed in class so students understand where events relate to each other in history. Create a timeline with events in American History and add a layer of authors' works to connect literature's time periods to history.

Have your students use Preceden to create a timeline of their life and their family's life. Then use events from their life for writing a memoir, poetry, etc. Science students could create a timeline for the stages of mitosis for a cell or the life cycle of a forest or an animal. Have students in government or history create timelines related to topics you are learning about in class.

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (99), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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Hands Off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Learning - TeachersFirst/Candace Hackett Shively

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally...more
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If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally accompanied a presentation by Candace Hackett Shively at the ISTE 2011 conference. Find specific ideas and web tools for making the IWB a student tool and avoiding the trap of being a teacher-Vanna (or Vance). See examples and classroom management tips to share this kinesthetic learning tool among students and leverage its capabilities in student-centered activities. The presentation is brand-agnostic, though some of the examples use SMART brand software (viewable with SMART Notebook Express, a free online tool, reviewed here). There are downloadable handouts and files along with the many suggestions.

tag(s): iwb (31)

In the Classroom

Teachers in any subject and grade level will find ideas for IWB learning in their classroom. Make this professional information a self-guided tour to improve your use of a new or existing IWB. Share it with colleagues for an informal inservice session. Everything is here for you to explore and learn. If you are in charge of leading professional development about IWBs, this new perspective on student-centered use will send Vanna packing and inspire many new avenues for learning.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Digital Play - Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all...more
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all grouped together with the lesson plans. Many of the activities are in game format. To get an overall view of the lesson plans, go to the top menu bar, and click on "Quick Scan." Lesson plans are divided by ability levels, and target language skills to be learned are included in the brief description there.

Please preview before sharing specific portions of this site with students, as some are designed for older students and may include a more violent tone than you would want to use with elementary students. Content changes frequently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Lessons on Digital Play could be quickly adapted for use in any foreign language class. You can receive updates on new lessons added from many networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. These lessons could also be adapted to the primary classroom to help develop sentence fluency.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (21), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
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Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads,...more
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, secretaries, school custodians, librarians, and more. Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care.

tag(s): fathers day (12), mothers day (13), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care. Share this collection as a link from your class web page for students and parents to use from home or during vacations and holidays.

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Five Frame - Illuminations

Grades
K to 2
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This activity begins building that foundation by working with 5's. Several different options are offered such as identifying the number of items in the 5 frame, identifying the number...more
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This activity begins building that foundation by working with 5's. Several different options are offered such as identifying the number of items in the 5 frame, identifying the number of items missing in the frame, building the given number, and adding items to fill the frame. Also available is a lesson plan for focusing on the number 2.

tag(s): counting (120), numbers (204)

In the Classroom

Introduce and demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explain to students the various activities offered, then create a link on classroom computers to be used as a center. Or use your interactive whiteboard as a center and allow students to manipulate the site themselves. Create a link on your classroom website or blog or post the link on your classroom newsletter for students to practice at home. Create your own 5 frames (using construction paper) for students to use individually and complete the activities as a class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Threaded Adventures - Kevin Hodgson

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can ...more
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A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can take and how to create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories online. This is perfect for those looking to integrate technology into their writing curriculum. Not only will you find directions to help you and your students create Threaded Adventures; the explanation of how to do this IS a Threaded Adventure, and you will find sample Threaded Adventures written by students. Threaded Adventures also inspire "predicting" as a reader, an essential reading strategy!

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Click on the links to read about how your students can create a Threaded Adventure. The author of the Threaded Adventure suggests the use of a wiki to have your students create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" because wikis are easy of use for the students. If you are unfamiliar with wikis, see TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Wikis can be private or public. Just be sure you have parent permission to publish student work online. If you use wikispaces, your students will not have to have an email account to join your wiki.

Have your students choose a favorite short story or picture book your class has already read. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to reread the story stopping and asking students what direction the story could take if the author hadn't finished the story, or suggest some "what ifs" yourself. Use Gliffy, an online graphic organizer reviewed here, to brainstorm with your class all the different paths the story could take. Once you and the class have decided on several different paths, go to your wiki and demonstrate how to create the "Threaded Adventure" using links to different pages. When your students understand the procedure, have small groups finish writing up the Threaded Adventure themselves. Once they've completed the class Threaded Adventure, they can use a story of their own to repeat the process.

For older students, you may want to go through the process above, and then have them put their story, or parts of their story, on MixedInk reviewed here to get ideas for story branches from their classmates. They could then use Gliffy reviewed here to organize the paths of their story. Once they've made final decisions about the different directions their story will take, they would then publish it on the wiki.

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Tell It Again - James A. Jukosky

Grades
K to 4
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning...more
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Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning radio show. The reel to reel tapes from the popular radio show are from this free website. Twelve popular folk tales including: Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, and the Tortoise and the Hare, have a MP3. Each selection includes stories with expressive characters, sound effects, and jingles. Future plans for this site include: children's musicians, authors, writers, and storytellers. Students will enjoy listening to favorite stories again and again in the classroom or at home on this free, user friendly-site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), writing (358)

In the Classroom

PreK-6 classrooms can use this site to enhance reading, listening, and historical perspectives on radio entertainment in individual, centers, or whole group setting. This site has been suggested for use with children with language delays, limited story backgrounds, Ell, ESL, or gifted children. Despite the website's limited stories available, it offers a great model for many inspired, creative lessons and projects with reading, writing, and listening. Ask students to add illustrations or create their own recordings of their own from stories. Inspire students with the musical jingles, challenging them to create their own jingle to accompany a favorite story of their own. Use these stories in writing class to model descriptive words, strong verbs, adjectives, sequencing, mind movies, and the elements of literature. Your podcasts will become alive and animated after hearing examples from this site. Build your own auditory story library with guest readers such as principals, teachers, older students, or family members. Students can add their own stories to create a classroom library of budding authors.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (32), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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Read the Words - Educational Utilities

Grades
1 to 12
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered ...more
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. Students can select the speed at which the text will be read. You can use a wide variety of formats including Microsoft Word, PDF, a website URL, anything copied and pasted, or from RSS feeds. Likewise, students can listen to the oral text online, download it to the desktop or MP3 players, post readings online in several forms, and even create podcasts with the selected material. Users can even modify the reading avatar's appearance by selecting from those available, both male and female.

Beware: if you are having students use this site, "inappropriate" words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced. So be sure students are aware of guidelines and consequences.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Primary or special ed reading teachers may want to use this site for students to practice reading fluency "side by side" with the online avatar. World language teachers and teachers of limited English speakers will love this website as reinforcement for language learning. Students can listen as they read. They can also practice their pronunciation and compare it with any selected avatar. Use the oral readings on an interactive whiteboard or projector (with speakers turned up) for class dictations and discussion starters. Preview the vocabulary words in any file or website by selecting the read/edit option before students listen to it. Check school policies regarding individual student accounts on web sites. Here are some tips on managing student memberships that require email.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst's Audio Books with Text Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts.

tag(s): audio books (32), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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