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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (88), charts and graphs (195), communities (35), experiments (71), geology (81), literature (275), news (261), search strategies (30), spreadsheets (17), statistics (122), tutorials (47), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

Grades
K to 12
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for ...more
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for your new acquisition, integrate the iPod or iPad into curriculum, and examine the results others schools have had. There are many resources to explore at this site! The resources here explain how to set-up multiple iPods or iPads, provide syncing tips, directions on how to create meta-playlists, manage school-wide podcast files, create digital portfolios, and practices that will enhance reading fluency. Much of the content may apply to other brands of tablets, as well. Impressive presentations and teacher reflections are free for download. View the hard data of previous school grant results in the form of bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs. These all clearly demonstrate the positive effect iPods/tablets can have on reading fluency, state standardized tests and ENGAGEMENT! This is also an excellent resource to use when creating dynamic presentations meant to bolster support for innovative programming.

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

This blog provides examples of grants that serve as wonderful models when writing your own. Most of the examples on this blog are for the iPod touch, but many of the same concepts pertain to iPad use or other tablets as well. Librarians or IT directors will want to access this site for valuable background information on how to manage the maintenance and circulation of e-readers, iPods, iPads, or other tablets. If outside funding or school support is an issue, look beyond the tool and examine their instructional practices. Much of the grant success is due to incorporation of voice recording. Consider having students record their reading or writing by using some of the free web resources TeacherFirst suggests such as PodOmatic reviewed here or Audio Pal reviewed here. Examine how these grants use multitasking in the classroom. Consider using audio books while students engage in less cognitively demanding tasks. ESL/ELL instructors will find the lesson examples and results valuable.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Aesop's Fables - Adapted by U Mass students/Aesop

Grades
K to 8
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables;...more
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables; the project is ongoing, having started in 1994. Today, some of the stories are simply text, while others use FLASH and are more interactive, and some even include audio.

tag(s): animation (63), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Set up a learning station using these fables (and headsets, if necessary.) Use these illustrated stories as models for your computer students to illustrate their choice of children's stories and collect a class anthology on the web. Challenge your students to narrate a photo and read the story/fable using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (66), listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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LITCHARTS - Get Lit - LitCharts

Grades
6 to 12
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the ...more
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, and several more. Charts can be viewed online, downloaded in a PDF file, or accessed through an iPhone app (apps are 99 cents each). Each chart offers a side by side summary and analysis of story events making events easier to follow and understand than typical summaries. In addition, they include a color coded theme tracker to help follow themes throughout the book. Each LitChart is 10 pages or less, making them concise and easy to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literature (275), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

LitCharts is a great resource to use with ESL/ELL and intervention students to reinforce concepts in texts provided. It is also helpful for students who lack experience with challenging literary classic. Share a LitChart with your class when reading one of the books on the site then have students create their own LitChart for the next book or to improve on the ones offered here. Provide a link to LitCharts to students to use as a study resource for end of novel assessments. Hint: make sure any assessments you use ask questions that go beyond what these charts offer, or students will not even try to read the actual texts! An intriguing challenge would be to ask them what else they would include in a study guide for the work.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (36), editing (60), essays (21), grammar (216), plagiarism (35), proofreading (19), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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WordTwist - PuzzleBaron

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done ...more
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done without registration; however, registration allows you to keep track of your scores and compare yourself to other players. Scores are based on the number and difficulty of words found on the game board. There are two versions of the game, a Flash version and one that doesn't require Flash.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Create accounts for your students and let them compete against each other for points. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Display this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to create words as a class. Challenge students to create lists of new words they learn from WordTwist.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Melanie , KS, Grades: 0 - 12

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Yudu - Yudu.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These ...more
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Yudu is more than an online library to read and explore. You can get your own writing published. It's as simple as uploading your PDF, Word, or PowerPoint document. These are automatically turned into the Yudu page-turning format. You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book, magazine, podcast, or brochure. It's free. Aspiring authors can register and publish your writing here, for free. You can also publish digital content beyond digital magazines and brochures. You can publish podcasts, music, audio clips, and photos. You can use Yudu as a visual bookmarking program, too. Once registered, you can create a library to store, share, & promote your digital content. Share your digital, page-turning publications for free or you can keep them private for you, friends, and family. There is an introductory video to get you started. The Yudu "plus" version (for a fee) has additional features.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), ebooks (41), multimedia (57), news (261), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

If you have a classroom newsletter, this would be the perfect place for you to publish it. You can then embed it on your website or wiki for parents and students to read.

If your class is studying a certain time period and/or area in the world, have your students produce brochures or newspapers (called a magazine on Yudu) using Yudu. Have your students create their brochure using Word, and then upload it to Yudu for a very polished look. You can then publish these by embedding them, or sharing the url on your wiki or webpage for your class and their parents to view.

In science or math students could make a small magazine with pictures to describe a concept or equation to their peers, to younger students, , or as a final assessment. Instead of a book report, create a Yudu! In English (or L.A.) have students write creative stories or step by step instructions and publish them via Yudu. At the beginning of the school-year, create a class Yudu introducing everyone in the class (name, favorite subject, favorite sport, highlight of their summer, etc..). Share the books with parents online or at Back to School Night.

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Learn English - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 8
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories,...more
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories, and the multilingual jumping off point is unique. Hear the word only or see images and hear the word using the video tab. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): chinese (48), french (88), hebrew (14), pronunciation (44), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Besides using for world language classes and limited English speaking students, refer your students with speech difficulties to this site whose clear pronunciation is helpful.

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English Idioms - Wayne Magnuson

Grades
3 to 10
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained...more
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Here you will find a dictionary of slang words and phrases that is organized into three sections: idioms alone, idioms that contain a specific word (like "get"), and idioms explained by a specific word. Simply click on the letter of the alphabet to find the word or phrase they are looking for. The definitions of the idioms also contain links to other idioms with similar meaning. Another helpful feature is the use of the idiom in a sentence. A version of the dictionary is available as a book as well. Try looking up idioms containing the word "dog" as an example.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), idioms (44), slang (15)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for mixed classes with limited English speakers or students with very literal language skills.

If your state testing requires understanding of idioms, be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and as a Favorite on your classroom computer for students to "play" with whenever they have a chance.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Intro to Learning Skills: Module 1: Self-Assessment - Red Rocks Community College

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Use the self-scoring Learning Styles Assessment and Multiple Intelligences Inventory to determine student learning styles as you begin your unit on study skills or psychology. Students...more
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Use the self-scoring Learning Styles Assessment and Multiple Intelligences Inventory to determine student learning styles as you begin your unit on study skills or psychology. Students can complete both forms on paper and use the accompanying scoring page to determine their "learning style" and multiple intelligence strengths. Psychology or guidance classes or learning support teachers may want to explore other aspects of tutorial as well.

tag(s): learning styles (19), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Any teacher may want to use the site as a lead-in to the school year to help students develop stronger study skills. Have students complete the self-assessment then find their "match" for peer tutoring. Inspire student project ideas and options from the multiple intelligence information. Consider having students a clas wiki presenting the same curriculum content via various different "intelligence" channels.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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I had my sixth graders do this inventory as we started the school year. It helped them find "study buddies" for study hall times at school. This eased their adjustment to middle school and the heavier homework load. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Little Bird Tales - Little Wings

Grades
K to 8
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so ...more
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so you don't have to scan and upload drawings; you can create the drawings in the program. Little Bird Tales has a short video explaining each step on the home page. Once the stories are complete, you can place a link to the story on a web page or wiki, or email it to parents, students, etc. This is a great way to publish student writing. This program is free and was created specifically for ages 3 to 14 as a safe, advertisement free web environment.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), digital storytelling (142), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55), preK (279), stories and storytelling (32), writing (358)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using this program are limitless. Choose a story from the public section of the program, or create your own. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students the story and how easy it is to put their story on this program. Little Bird can be used in science and math for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit learned, by explaining it in three ways: verbally, drawing, and using text. Create myths and stories in language arts classes, or students can review a book they've read. In social studies, students can create reports on a country, time period, or famous person. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You might want to have this program open on a computer in your classroom for students to use when they are finished with other work. Share the urls of student reports and stories on your web page or wiki.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Online Writing Resources - Red River College

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such...more
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Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such topics as run-on and fragment sentences, active and passive voice, pronoun case, punctuation, and more. The interactive exercises allow students to practice concepts on their own as the program will tell them which answer is correct.

tag(s): capitalization (19), copyright (47), grammar (216), homonyms (12), homophones (17), parts of speech (68), plagiarism (35), proofreading (19), punctuation (43), sentences (52), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Online Writing Resources allows you to introduce a concept with the PowerPoint projected on your whiteboard or projector, then, you can choose to have the students practice online with the interactive exercise(s). As a follow up you can use the Word document as class work, homework, or a quiz. Another idea would be to use the Word document or interactive exercises with the entire class where you can annotate the concept you're explaining with your projector and interactive whiteboard. Assign individual students to complete a specific module for an area of writing where they need extra practice.

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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

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Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual...more
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual explanation of how questions work together, choose the Essential Questions link and scroll down to the diagram showing that this is center of all questions, then all other types of question serve to illuminating the Essential Questions. Links are included to additional information on each of the topics.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide when lesson planning. Demonstrate to older students how different types of questions will lead to further learning and strengthen critical thinking skills. Display the diagrams and information on the site on your interactive whiteboard to help students explore different questioning techniques. When studying a particular unit, challenge cooperative groups to create their own essential questions (and other types of questions) and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

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Speakit! - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, ...more
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. There are some errors in the program, they are still fixing. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software.

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

In the Classroom

Use Speakit as your teacher's helper. During research or computer explorations, allow students to use this read aloud feature. Honor the students who heavily rely on hearing as their preferred form of comprehending material. In lower grades, research on computers now becomes an easier task. This extension is perfect for ESL/ELL or learning support students to help with vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, and repetitions.

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Fotobabble - Fotobabble

Grades
K to 12
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Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site?...more
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Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site? Use the URL link or embed code to add your Fotobabble where you see fit. How easy is it? Upload your picture (you can choose whether it is public or remains private.) Add your voice and review quality. Share by clicking on the option you require or copy the embed code or URL to share.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to locate and upload pictures. Use an attached or internal microphone to add voice to the picture. Manage the final product by email, adding to the vast array of services listed, or using the embed code.

Consider the use of a class account that is shared by all instead of using individual accounts.

Be sure that students understand to use appropriate and copyright free pictures. Check with your district policies about using pictures of or by students as well as using this service.

Use in any curriculum area. Use to show and tell about a favorite animal, historical figure, place, or event, artists or musicians, scientists or technologies, characters from fiction, or how to play a specific sport (as told by the ball!) to name a few. Take pictures during a science demo and have students upload and speak as the science concept - or as Sir Isaac Newton or Louis Pasteur! Have students write stories and upload a photo of their story's setting, reading their story aloud as viewers take in the setting. Try different options of storytelling: first person as an inanimate object, flashback, etc. Art teachers can have students upload a photo of recent artworks and narrate their technique or thoughts in creating the work. Speech/language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will find that photos can promote oral language practice (and preserve a recording to demonstrate progress). A picture can SPEAK a thousand (or more) words!

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NASA Math Trax - NASA

Grades
7 to 12
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides...more
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides descriptions of those graphs using both text and sound, which is great for those with limited vision, weaker readers, or who need auditory cues. The text descriptions can be read by Java-capable screen readers such as Jaws for Windows, or can be inputted into speech synthesizing software to create self-voicing applications. MathTrax provides color and line settings for drawing graphs to aid users with different vision-impairments.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), equations (155), functions (70)

In the Classroom

Download the program and provide opportunities to play and understand the relationships between graphs and equations. Have students work on individual laptops after a class demonstration on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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