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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (261), vocabulary (323), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Writing Bugs - Education World

Grades
2 to 6
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Motivate young writers with printable story starters organized by the month. A section with prompts that are appropriate for any time of the year is also available. ...more
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Motivate young writers with printable story starters organized by the month. A section with prompts that are appropriate for any time of the year is also available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for writing choices. Bind completed student stories into a class book or have students write them on a class wiki or blog.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TES Interactive Whiteboard Activities - TSL Education

Grades
K to 6
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Explore a wonderful resource of interactive, Flash-based whiteboard activities for preschool and elementary students. Choose from EYFS (early childhood), KS1 (approximately ages 6-8)...more
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Explore a wonderful resource of interactive, Flash-based whiteboard activities for preschool and elementary students. Choose from EYFS (early childhood), KS1 (approximately ages 6-8) or KS2 (approximately ages 8-11). Subjects include math, literacy, science, geography, and more. Each activity includes a short explanation with suggestions for classroom use. Many of the literacy activities relate to familiar children's stories such as Goldilocks, Cinderella, and the Three Little Pigs. All resources can be sorted by subject or grade level and include a link to copy for embedding in classroom blogs, websites, or as a bookmark on classroom computers. The site originates in the UK, so it uses British English.

tag(s): animals (276), characterization (16), charts and graphs (195), communities (35), counting (120), data (148), human body (121), numbers (204), plants (145), preK (281), setting (11)

In the Classroom

Use activities on this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as whole class activities or in classroom computer centers. Share the site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for skills practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Storify - Xavier Damman and Burt Herman

Grades
6 to 12
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Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. ...more
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Create stories based on Tweets, photos, and videos. To create a story, go to the editor and create a headline and description. Then choose media to use for the search. Choices include Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Instagram, and much more. You can search multiple social networks from one place and drag elements into your story. Re-order elements by dragging them and add text as needed. Storify lets you take those little bits of information shared over time and turn them into a story. The site also has a search element so you can explore Storify creations by featured topics or what is currently popular. Login is necessary to save and share Storify creations. As with any social network site used by the general public, adults should ALWAYS preview just before sharing with young people. The featured examples appear benign but could change any time.

tag(s): collages (17), digital storytelling (144), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use Storify to create weekly stories of tweets, pictures, and videos from your classroom that can be sent home to parents. Create a story of learning based on a collaboration between classrooms as a way to chronicle and reflect on the collaboration. Build a semester or year-long "story" of your class tweets and activities as a sort of online scrapbook that can be shared with families. Invite other classrooms to take part in writing a collaborative story 140 characters at a time using Twitter. Create a story for any classroom topic such as current events, American History, famous mathematicians, or astronomy. Search for tweets from a favorite author or politician to tell his/her story.

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Quintura for Kids - Quintura.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Quintura is a search engine designed for early elementary through middle school students. Clicking on the kite icons will give you ready-made search results (not related to the topic...more
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Quintura is a search engine designed for early elementary through middle school students. Clicking on the kite icons will give you ready-made search results (not related to the topic you enter). Ready-made topics include history, video games, animals, sports and recreation, and music. This is perfect for ESL/ELL students or non-readers and beginning readers. Enter a search term, and you will see a word cloud that has the related, narrower searches. You can select one or more items in the cloud to see search results. There is a limited number of items in the vocabulary, so not all searches result in success. The kids search does filter out "adult" material. It is based on Yahoo kids content, but displayed in a more visual format. The Quick Tour shows how Quintura for Kids works, but you may have to allow the pop-up to open. There is an App available for the iPad and iPhone.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Introduce the Quick Tour on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Stop the tour at some points to make students aware of certain features. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Younger students can benefit from using this site because it does feature links to student versions of popular informational websites. Consider using this site to to create a word cloud search for a project assignment. Embed the results on your webpage for easy access by students and parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phreetings (photo+greetings) - Picture Sandbox

Grades
K to 12
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This very simple tool creates quick image+message greetings that can be shared via email or by url. Enter a search term to find images or videos, drag your chosen image, ...more
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This very simple tool creates quick image+message greetings that can be shared via email or by url. Enter a search term to find images or videos, drag your chosen image, and type in text below. Click "send" to open your email program to send the link or copy/paste the link to view it directly on the Internet. The url for each custom image and greeting combination shows clearly below the box where you type the message. Highlight it and press Ctrl+ C (or Command +C on a Mac) to copy it. Here is a sample "Phreeting" created in less than 15 seconds. Although not clearly stated on this tool, phreetings searches use Creative Commons images from Flickr. Clicking on the image in the "phreeting" opens the image page on Flickr. As with any search tool, it is possible to search for inappropriate topics, so make sure you have a clear policy about what students may/may not search and what the consequences are. Note: if you do not copy the url as you create, you will NOT be able to find it again!

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Hold an image captioning contest on projector/interactive whiteboard at the start of class about verbs by searching "run" or another action word. As a quick formative assessment, have students create a Phreeting using an image of a curriculum concept (a leaf, for example), with a greeting that explains about photosynthesis. During poetry month, have students compose a haiku message to accompany an image they find. Write and share similes and metaphors using image prompts and share the links on a class wiki. Share the links to the many quick projects on your class web page. Mark this quickie tool in your Favorites on your teacher public page so students can use it to send greetings and questions by email any time. Younger students/classes can make "Phreetings" to send to school helpers, visiting firemen, and others. ESL/ELL, speech/language, or world language students can practice writing simple sentences about an image they find and share the result via email or a link you collect on a class web page. If you have a class Flickr account, search for your own photos and have students add captions explaining the activity pictured and send them to the principal or parents. At holiday season, send Phreetings as practice writing informal "letters" or thank you notes.

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MobileRead - MobileRead.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Join Mobileread, a social networking site for eBooks. View as a guest, or join to be able to submit a nomination or comment to a discussion thread. Find free ebooks, ...more
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Join Mobileread, a social networking site for eBooks. View as a guest, or join to be able to submit a nomination or comment to a discussion thread. Find free ebooks, eBook lending libraries, eBook reviews, Notable eBook uploads, and poetry. Discover latest technology, audio books, hardware reviews, and accessories. Conversion, reading software, and authoring software fulfill your Ebook needs. Get mobile links, Ebook blogs, web clipping software, or Mobile Mobilereads. The option to choose a language is available to accommodate for ELL/ESL readers.Be aware: This site has a lot of public interaction. Either explore the site yourself for whole group activities or monitor carefully .
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), book lists (128), ebooks (42), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Consider sharing parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard. Expand your language arts classroom with a variety of books through free eBook resources. Give each student his/her own personalized book club to match interests. Enjoy your favorite interests too. Find the latest information on eBook technology.

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Speechable - Enluminari

Grades
K to 12
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures...more
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures on the home page change frequently, so be sure to check this just before SHARING with your students. Some of the captions could be considered offensive to some. . Be sure to make all of your pictures private.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki! Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to show your humorous side to the parents. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night.

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A Game A Day - AgameAday.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Find interactives and puzzles across the curriculum to spark curiosity and increase motivation, concentration, and skills. Two different levels of play allow a greater range of skill...more
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Find interactives and puzzles across the curriculum to spark curiosity and increase motivation, concentration, and skills. Two different levels of play allow a greater range of skill level. This award-winning site offers a huge variety of activities for reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, math, and thinking skills. Many activities require Java.

tag(s): logic (235), operations (126), problem solving (272), puzzles (208), sight words (37), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Use kids' love of games to inspire problem solvers and thinkers within each of your students. This ever-changing site allows for a wide variety of topics and interests. Use as a center tool, reward time, reinforcement, introduction, or review of a variety of skills and concepts. Many of the games are well suited for ELL students to simply practice reading directions and using vocabulary. Add as a link to your website to provide interesting new ideas and concepts. Inspire thinkers in your gifted or advanced classes. Use in computer classes to provide examples for game types. Use as examples of review tools at the end of any unit so students can create their own review games to challenge each other. Put the daily challenge up on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students are entering the room. Preservice teachers will find this site invaluable.

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Technology and Reading Ebooks in Education - Drs.Cavanaugh

Grades
K to 12
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Find a comprehensive list of sources for eBooks and ways to use them. Dr. Terry Cavanaugh has a wide variety of information dedicated to using eBooks in the classroom. Find ...more
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Find a comprehensive list of sources for eBooks and ways to use them. Dr. Terry Cavanaugh has a wide variety of information dedicated to using eBooks in the classroom. Find links for online libraries, news, blogs, history, platforms, features, accommodations, samples, and borrowing guidelines. A section entitled educational applications, features creating eBooks with PowerPoint, digital Big Books, and eBooks in higher education. Classroom lesson ideas along with reading strategies help you incorporate eBooks into your curriculum. A link to the Florida recommended eBook list is also given. Find advice on video book talks, Book trading with eBooks, and an online Book cataloging library resource tool. A section for books promoting eBooks use in the classrooms lists resources to make you proficient. Find samples for creating eBooks to fit into your own classroom needs.

tag(s): audio books (32), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Capture your student's interest in technology and reading with eBooks. Join the latest craze to promote life long reading. Join blogs to see what other teachers are doing. Use as a parent resource to help promote interest. Use as background information while writing grants or proposals for technology grants. Be sure to investigate the variety of classroom ideas for using technology and eBooks.

Consider incorporating technology into your literature circles. You might want to start with a whole class novel, having students listen to certain chapters using an eBook. Have the "discussion director" for the group post questions on Edmodo reviewed here with the understanding that they may answer the questions on Edmodo, but these are "discussion starters" for the circle meeting in class.

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Poetry Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although...more
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This read-aloud collection is part of TeachersFirst's Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of poetry books to read aloud and related activities and lessons will inspire young poets -- even reluctant ones. Invite them to read and write poetry on their own. Find both printable and online resources to extend the poetry reading and writing. This is the perfect read-aloud collection during April, National Poetry Month. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): book lists (128), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Use the before, during, and after reading activities in this read-aloud collection as the core of a poetry unit or simply to honor National Poetry Month. Mark it in your Favorites so you can use it from year to year. Share some of the activity ideas and links with parents to use at home or with other teachers to make poetry a schoolwide literacy celebration.

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Respondo! - Ian Byrdseed

Grades
4 to 12
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Bring some creativity into your literature lessons using this site that goes way beyond rote answers. Choose skills from drop boxes, identify one or two stories to analyze/compare,...more
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Bring some creativity into your literature lessons using this site that goes way beyond rote answers. Choose skills from drop boxes, identify one or two stories to analyze/compare, choose your thinking skills, and decide what the final product will be. For example, "Substitute The Giver's setting for A Wrinkle In Time's setting. Dramatize how this would affect A Wrinkle In Time's plot. Create a skit," or "Rearrange Oh The Places You Will Go's plot. Analyze how this would affect its tone. Create a photo essay ." Choose whatever book(s) are relevant to your class. Experiment with different ideas easily until coming up with the perfect response question for your class or individualize easily for different student responses. The creator of this site does admit that it is a rather new site with a few kinks. His email is provided if you see any issues. Our review team noticed nothing unusual, and all options were functioning properly, at the time of this review.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), characterization (16), creative fluency (8), creativity (109), critical thinking (108), debate (41), flexibility (5), literary devices (11), literature (275), plot (10), setting (11), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create unique lessons and literature responses that require critical thinking responses from your students. Share with students and allow them to create their own response at the end of a unit when comparing two books or reflecting on one book. Use this site as a resource for incorporating different levels of Blooms Taxonomy into your classroom and for differentiation among students. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Chartle - Dieter Krachtus

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screen shot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to better visualize what the pollsters are saying.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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QR Voice - Marcel Duran

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this simple QR code site to type a 100 character message and hear it read by a voice synthesizer when the code is scanned. You can also read/record your ...more
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Use this simple QR code site to type a 100 character message and hear it read by a voice synthesizer when the code is scanned. You can also read/record your own voice. Type or dictate text and click to generate a QR code that will say the text aloud. Simply type text or click the microphone to dictate text. Use a QR reader on a mobile device or on a school computer or laptop in order to prepare the generated QR code. Try scanning the audible QR code here audible QR code here to hear an example we created. At the time of this review, the languages available included Portugese, Spanish, French, Japanese, English, and Italian.

tag(s): qr codes (21), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

The use of QR Codes in the classroom is limitless, and adding an audio option makes them even more accessible. QR Codes can be used with portable devices or webcams on desktop computers. Create QR codes for assignments with quick directions, rubric information, editing instructions, or web resources. This would be great fun for a digital scavenger hunt. Embed QR codes that "tell" important audible information for your students or parents on a classroom website. Create a QR code to go home on student planners reminding them to do their homework. Add a QR Code to tell your schedule or learning goals. Share QR code audio announcements of special events to your families. For study guides, provide QR codes for answers so students can self-check. Create a living history museum of any time period, with simple explanations or fast facts. For vocabulary words in English or any other language, provide correct pronunciations or sample sentences and definitions of each word. If you work with non-readers or students learning English or another language, prepare recordings that will play when students scan the QR code with an iTouch or mobile phone. Have students practice spoken language skills and create their own audible QR codes for others to try. With very young children, you can put a QR code on signs labeling classroom objects and have them scan with mobile device cameras to hear (as well as see) the words for the object. This could be very helpful for nonreaders or English language learners.
 

Edge Features:

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Tweet Topic Explorer - Neoformix

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter...more
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Use this resource to see what the NYTimes, Wall street Journal, or any other source (Twitter account) is currently tweeting about. A blend between Twitter and word clouds, this resource can provide current information about many topics. Enter a Twitter username in the lower left to begin. Click on a circle in the word cloud to see the tweets listed along the side. Try entering @teachersfirst to see an example.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), chat (51), microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

This would be fantastic projected on a whiteboard (or projector) for the class to see. Use this resource by entering a Twitter username (such as a politician's) to stay up to date about what they are discussing (or to realize the overuse of certain talking points!) Enter an author's user name to follow current discussions. Use this resource over a period of several weeks to identify the changing trends or changes in stories over time. Follow any Twitter name that can shed light on any academic topic for use in a class. Does your class use twitter? Enter the username(s) to create a word cloud of what your class has done. Use the word cloud and Tweets to reflect on what has been learned in the class. Follow what a famous person or writer is tweeting. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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Hashonomy - Hashonomy

Grades
9 to 12
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Though a little clunky, Hashonomy searches tweets from Twitter for information and links. Search the current top hashtags and view the top trends for information and links. You can...more
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Though a little clunky, Hashonomy searches tweets from Twitter for information and links. Search the current top hashtags and view the top trends for information and links. You can also use Hashonomy to organize your own tweeted bookmarks/links. New to Twitter? Find information about this resource here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to search Twitter as a source for information and links on a topic. Use to identify trending topics as well as the change in the discussion over time.

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GroupCard - Interactive Gift Corporation

Grades
K to 8
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Create and send e-cards with this online card creator: birthdays, holidays, thank you cards, and countless other events. Each topic includes several choices of cards. After choosing...more
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Create and send e-cards with this online card creator: birthdays, holidays, thank you cards, and countless other events. Each topic includes several choices of cards. After choosing a card, enter the recipient's name, a message, and sign. Cards can be "signed" by multiple members of a group. There is even an option to upload a picture next to the sender's signature. Once finished, cards can be sent via email or posted to Facebook.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fathers day (12), holidays (147), mothers day (13)

In the Classroom

Students can create and send birthday cards to historical figures, sympathy cards to widows of slain leaders, thank you cards to persons that have had a big impact in our world, famous scientists, good luck to presidential candidates, etc. After creating cards, students can send them to your email account to be printed and included as part of bigger classroom projects. Teach how to write a friendly note, then post the results on a class bulletin board.

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BoomWriter - BoomWriter Corp

Grades
2 to 8
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Encourage your students to do their best writing at BoomWriter. Once students submit their writing, share it with the class or a small group to create a book. Here's how ...more
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Encourage your students to do their best writing at BoomWriter. Once students submit their writing, share it with the class or a small group to create a book. Here's how it works: Provided with a "starter chapter," students continue the story by writing additional chapters. Students vote on chapters submitted (anonymously), and the chapters receiving the most votes are included into a book that students, teachers, and parents can choose to have published by BoomWriter. After registration, students can see and begin contributions to a project with teachers able to oversee each student's writing, comments, and edits of other students' work. When all contributions are complete, the class reads the submissions and votes. Writers' names aren't revealed until after the voting, thereby eliminating any "classroom politics" that could happen in the voting stage. There is a short video on the home page introducing BoomWriter and how to get started with the program.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), interactive stories (32), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books as different writing concepts are introduced such as dialogue, foreshadowing, etc. to help making learning fun. Have students create online posters using Check This (reviewed here). Science and other curricula teachers could have students review a unit just studied by creating their own texts or story books on the curriculum topic.

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Shape Poem Generator - Read, Write, Think - International Reading Association

Grades
K to 4
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Engage students while learning about poetry with this easy to use Shape Poem Generator. Type in the author's name and see examples of shape poems. Choices of themes include nature,...more
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Engage students while learning about poetry with this easy to use Shape Poem Generator. Type in the author's name and see examples of shape poems. Choices of themes include nature, school, celebrations, and sports. Each theme offers several choices of shapes. Choose a shape and then type in several words or phrases that go along with the shape. Make a title and use the words and phrases as ideas to include in the poem. When finished, read the poem, go back and edit, or print the link on the page.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce the concept of shape poems. Choose a theme and create a poem together as a class. Use as a teacher-led center and have groups of students create shape poems using this site. Print and display student-created poems on a classroom bulletin board. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms about themes used on the site before creating shape poems using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TES Teaching Resources - TSL Education

Grades
K to 12
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose...more
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose a grade range to search for activities. Note that terminology for lessons is from the UK, so you may need to "translate" for U.S. curriculum topics and spelling. Choose subjects then further categorized into topics. Many links include complete lessons plans with items such as PowerPoint lessons, videos, quizzes, worksheets, and much more. Other options on the site allows you to save items as favorites, follow other users, save searches, and upload materials. Another offering is the "Whole School" category that includes resources for school needs such as behavior and assemblies.

tag(s): bullying (52), business (58), creativity (109), preK (281), psychology (64), religions (61), sociology (22), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite to use as a resource when searching for lesson plans and classroom activities. Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of these ready to go resources!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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