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Eclipse Crossword Creator - Eclipse Crossword

Grades
1 to 12
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Create crossword puzzles quickly and easily with this fast and free site. Crosswords can easily be customized with settings within the program. Advanced users can fine-tune the settings...more
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Create crossword puzzles quickly and easily with this fast and free site. Crosswords can easily be customized with settings within the program. Advanced users can fine-tune the settings to the way they like them, everything from the positioning of the first few words to how important it is to have a compact puzzle. To get started, download the software and install on your computer (be sure to follow school rules regarding download and installation of software if using school computers). Next, input your list of words and clues, then create your puzzle. Once created, you can print puzzles, save it as a web page, or choose from different types of interactive pages that your visitors can play right in their web browser, without installing new software.

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

In the Classroom

Create puzzles for any subject or topic for review or introduction to new materials. Allow students to create puzzles for other students to solve. Add a puzzle to your classroom newsletter or blog to create interest. Share puzzles on your interactive whiteboard for students to solve together.

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Digg.com - Digg Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Digg is a social news network. Similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are ...more
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Digg is a social news network. Similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are more or less the most popular stories being shared on the Internet. It is meant to be a snapshot of the most interesting, relevant, quirky, and fun content on the web! Once you sign up, you can start to Digg your own favorites. This site also features "Digg Dialogg" where members submit questions to notable leaders and community members decide on which questions will be asked and interviews are shared on the site. Be sure to preview items that you wish to share. A few "violent" warnings were noted at the time of this review, but the other 99% of the shared items were excellent for using in the classroom.

tag(s): debate (41), news (261), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Try using Digg as a warm up Internet activity in the beginning of the school year by having older students sign up for their own account. Have them scan and read as part of current events teaching. The articles can be controversial which provides a great place to start debates. It also provides a great resource for research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Copyright free/Public domain images - Jen Presley

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a nice collection of source for public domain and copyright free images from around the web. This Livebinders...more
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Discover a nice collection of source for public domain and copyright free images from around the web. This Livebinders site features a wonderful array of images and photos on a variety of topics.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

When looking for copyright free materials for use in projects or to place on websites, begin your search here. Be sure to keep a link to this site on your wiki, blog, or web page for students to use whenever they are working on a project.

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Mr. Thorne Does Phonics - Christopher Thorne

Grades
K to 5
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Learn grammar and phonics using short video clips. Videos are divided into categories based on phases of learning (phonics/reading levels), high frequency words, and other criteria....more
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Learn grammar and phonics using short video clips. Videos are divided into categories based on phases of learning (phonics/reading levels), high frequency words, and other criteria. Videos are engaging and short enough to keep students interested (most run 2-4 minutes). This site includes everything from learning the alphabet to consonant blends to pronouns and much more. Note that the speaker is not American, so the accent may be different from what young students have heard before. There are app versions of many of the activities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19), grammar (216), phonics (75), pronunciation (44), sight words (37), spelling (168), verbs (41), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Use this site to practice word recognition, pronunciation, and phonics rules. The Mr. Thorne Does Phonics site would be a wonderful site to have available for students on classroom computers as a reading/learning center. Or share specific video clips with your entire class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge your students to make their own Mr. Thorne inspired videos for phonics or grammar. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cookie - Cookie.com

Grades
K to 3
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different...more
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Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different formats. Search by subject, top games, and new releases. Pre-school and early elementary teachers will appreciate the many videos on the site for learning to write numbers and letters, learning body parts, and days of the week. There are interactives for students related to addition, colors, alphabet letters, and more.

tag(s): alphabet (92), audio books (32), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), matching (24), numbers (204), preK (279), puzzles (208), songs (52), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

These interactives make great center activities to support learning. Or if individual computers aren't available, use your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using the IWB as a student-run center for pairs to take turns. There are numerous activities to choose from and differentiate for your students' needs. This is definitely one to save in your favorites (or bookmark). Be sure to share this link via your newsletter or list it on your class website, blog, or wiki. Use your TeachersFirst public page (part of free membership) to share with a single click!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Educreations - Educreations, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Use Educreations' simple web-based whiteboard (works in any browser that supports flash) or the iPad app to record lessons and share with your students. Create your course(s) and control...more
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Use Educreations' simple web-based whiteboard (works in any browser that supports flash) or the iPad app to record lessons and share with your students. Create your course(s) and control privacy settings from the beginning. Make the content pubic, private to your students, or private to all within the school. Create a lesson by using the online whiteboard and your microphone. Easily upload images from your computer and switch between whiteboard screens. Click on the Students tab to provide a link for students to be able to find your course. Students can self-register using the unique classroom code. Each lesson has a unique URL you can share, as well. Students can access your lessons via the web or an iPad. You can remove students from registration lists in this section.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): homework (44), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to create homework help for students to peruse when they are stuck on their own trying to complete assignments. Create mini lessons for students to review or learn the material they may have missed. Consider allowing students to use your account to write a script and record mini lessons for use by other students. Even two recordings of the same lesson is valuable as information can be explained differently from more than one person. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Free Kids Books - Red Sky Ventures

Grades
K to 6
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Free Kids Books is a growing library of unique children's books and literary resources available for download in a user-friendly PDF format. You may purchase the books, but this review...more
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Free Kids Books is a growing library of unique children's books and literary resources available for download in a user-friendly PDF format. You may purchase the books, but this review relates to the FREE PDF format. Find books by the categories: toddlers, children, and young adult. This site is growing, so keep checking back. You will also find a Garfield alphabet poster and more to fill your language arts classroom needs! Links to literacy resources, publishing sites, and author resources, children's activities, and book review sites make this a very useful site for further resources to expand your language arts program.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (41), preK (279)

In the Classroom

If you are not a primary level teacher, be assured all the ESL/ELL, world language, theme related alphabet books are completely customizable. A great way to use the resources with older, struggling readers is to tap into their interests and have them customize the resources.

Create a class book with favorite activities, rhymes, names of books, or any way you choose to create classroom community. Make a special book for your school to welcome visitors or new students. Read the PDFs on the interactive whiteboard, projector, or at a center. Post as a link on your website for students to read at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Issuu - You Publish - Issuu Inc. 2009

Grades
9 to 12
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Issuu is an online publishing tool where you can upload documents to be published in magazine, presentation, or paper format. Share your voice with the world. Then see who reads, ...more
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Issuu is an online publishing tool where you can upload documents to be published in magazine, presentation, or paper format. Share your voice with the world. Then see who reads, likes, or links your documents. You can integrate your publications or other's publications on your own webpage. Or simply use the site as a place to read others' publications. You can follow other publishers and bookmark the things you enjoy. You may want to preview anything you wish to share with your class, as the content is always changing.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Use this website to publish information for your students or by your students. Have older students create their own accounts to publish their papers, laboratory reports, and research projects. Have students read and evaluate the quality of different publications from this website to develop critical thinking skills. Use for polished projects in any subject area.

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QR Treasure Hunt Generator - Classtools.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in using QR codes in an engaging way? Try this Treasure Hunt Generator that uses QR codes. It's simple. Enter your questions and answers. Then click Create the QR ...more
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Interested in using QR codes in an engaging way? Try this Treasure Hunt Generator that uses QR codes. It's simple. Enter your questions and answers. Then click Create the QR Challenge. These are generated as text files which can be printed and posted wherever you want. Students use a QR reader (such as on iTouches, iPads, or phones) to scan and open the question and directions. Students then continue on by finding and answering the questions.

Note: QR code readers exist for every type of phone and are easily found on the Internet. For computers, add-ons exist for Firefox and Chrome as well as a desktop application from Adobe.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65), qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Use to make any class content into a treasure hunt for knowledge. Keep students engaged by creating learning centers that have a question requiring an answer and perhaps another activity at the center before going on to the next. Have students learn and answer questions about mystery objects, art prints, or books/authors with accompanying QR codes. Identify trees by creating a QR code with a question about the tree and perhaps another link taking them to specific information. Create a scavenger hunt around the school asking questions about activities in the school or certain student projects found in showcases. (The first QR code could be printed in the school newsletter.) Create a treasure hunt with books in the library to test library search skills or to find a specific book and answer questions from the index, table of contents, etc. Use QR codes on objects in Geometry to ask questions about the shapes or solve a problem based on a physical object. Any subject area and content could find a use for this Treasure Hunt Generator. Challenge students to create their own QR treasure hunts as a way to "present" research projects. Use in social studies for the entire class to create a QR code hunt around your community to bring local history to life for all residents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Search Team - Zakta LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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This search engine is designed for you to search collaboratively with others. Avoid duplicate search results and record comments and "likes." Once you register (requires email), click...more
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This search engine is designed for you to search collaboratively with others. Avoid duplicate search results and record comments and "likes." Once you register (requires email), click Contacts (or Invite Friends To Search Together) to add others with whom you can collaborate on searches. All collaborators must have email and be registered. Be aware: as with most search engines, inappropriate words can be used/searched. Be sure your students know the rules, expectations, and consequences for inappropriate searches.

tag(s): search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for any project or other classroom research where students can benefit from collaborative research. This is a great alternative to meeting at a group member's house or the library. And it saves gas! For students under age 13, use a whole class account and have each group use a different TAB that you set up for them. A how-to video on the site will guide you through set up.

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AudioBoom - Audioboo Ltd.

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Enter your classroom into the digital age with AudioBoom's audio digital archive and sharing device. Use an iPhone, Android, or PC to record high-quality soundtracks easily. Along...more
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Enter your classroom into the digital age with AudioBoom's audio digital archive and sharing device. Use an iPhone, Android, or PC to record high-quality soundtracks easily. Along with the sound recording, a map shows the who, where, and when of the recording. Use AudioBoom with social networking sites, embed into a website or use as a full podcast. If sharing an already created AudiBoom, please preview first. While this site CAN be used with all grades, some of the already created Audibooms are only appropriate for high school students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (288), social networking (112), sound (100)

In the Classroom

Jazz up your curriculum with sound. Invigorate debates, interviews, reporting, or interviewing with expression and passion. Easily record and share Readers Theater and storytelling with your class, other classes, or even parents. Add personal narratives from students' reports on historical figures, scientists, or community leaders. Add a further dimension into author studies with audio requests using AudioBoom. Autobiographies and biographies can include a much-needed sound component. Blogs, podcasts, and websites easily support these recordings. ESL/ELL teachers might be interested in using this to record their students reading or in conversations and play it back for them so they can critique how well they are doing, or where they need improvement.

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Sound Cloud - SoundCloud Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
SoundCloud is a sound sharing site. Upload your favorite sounds and share using your sound cloud free account. Share via a link or a choice of embed widgets to add ...more
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SoundCloud is a sound sharing site. Upload your favorite sounds and share using your sound cloud free account. Share via a link or a choice of embed widgets to add into a website, blog, podcast, Wordpress, email, instant message, or social network. You can choose to use previously recorded sounds or record your own sounds using this site. Share the sounds on the web, with your group, or privately between users. Use your drop box to receive recorded material from others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), sound (100), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Add the dimension of sound into your language arts classes with SoundCloud! Turn written stories or poetry into works of spoken art. Use SoundCloud recordings of places such as; the city, the forest, the beach, or a cafeteria to bring settings to life. Make and share audio writing prompts. Challenge students to create their own story using sounds. Add sound into projects such as webquests, PowerPoints, podcasts, or blogging to hear the results! Emphasize important messages to your parent or student emails using sound. What a practical solution for ESL/ELL learners. Record and share poetry readings during Poetry Month. Save quarterly recordings of speech articulation students s they can hear their own progress (and you can share it with parents). Check school policies, of course, before uploading any student recordings to the web. Instrumental music teachers can share clips of musical pieces for students to emulate during at-home practice.

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Teaching Interviewing Skills Through Story Games - Doug Lipman

Grades
4 to 12
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Encourage and motivate students to become better interviewers with these easy to use suggestions. This short article is divided into different sections including Why Games to Teach...more
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Encourage and motivate students to become better interviewers with these easy to use suggestions. This short article is divided into different sections including Why Games to Teach Interviewing?, Close-ended and Open-ended questions, games, and next steps. Several activities are included to demonstrate and practice proper questioning techniques. Although the author indicates he has used these techniques with grades 4-8, information on the site is appropriate for older students as well.

tag(s): interviews (16), journalism (46), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Practice activities on the site with student journalists, before interviewing family members for genealogy research, or as general social skills practice. This is a must for any class planning an oral history project. Before presenting information on the site, record students interviewing other classmates. Then record after learning new questioning techniques as an assessment and demonstration of skills learned. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain differences between open and closed questions or suggestions for interviews. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). ESL/ELL teachers may want to use techniques discussed in the article to help students become more comfortable in everyday conversations.

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CAST Science Writer - CAST, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Get help writing science reports. Follow the steps of a science report, already broken down to show where all the information goes. This tool includes sentence starters and checklists...more
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Get help writing science reports. Follow the steps of a science report, already broken down to show where all the information goes. This tool includes sentence starters and checklists that are helpful when editing and revising a report. Follow the process of creating a draft, revising the report, and final editing. Use the text to speech tool found in the resource to hear your report being read back to you, a powerful way to hear whether it makes sense. The site states "This tool is geared toward middle school and high school students." However, there are activities applicable to upper elementary grades.

tag(s): science fairs (25), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Be sure to place this link on the school blog, wiki, or class website for easy access throughout the year. Demonstrate in class or use as a group. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students will find it a great resource. Knowing when to discuss information is difficult for most to decide when writing a lab report. After creating a report, have students discuss or create a display that shows where information needs to be placed in a lab report.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This resource is described as being for students in grades 6 through 12, but the interface has animated "helpers" that would be more appropriate for younger students. The breakdown of report writing into sections also seems a bit simplistic--also more appropriate for younger students. I think it would be better to describe this resource as being for grades 2-5. Note from the editorial team: The site states that this tool is designed for middle school and high school students. However, after further review, we agree that it would be useful in the elementary grades. We have adjusted our review based on your recommendations. Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Writing to Persuade - Mrs. Travis' Classroom

Grades
4 to 8
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Looking for a way to explain and practice persuasive writing? Find examples on how to include evidence, show differing viewpoints, organize writing, and focus on the target audience....more
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Looking for a way to explain and practice persuasive writing? Find examples on how to include evidence, show differing viewpoints, organize writing, and focus on the target audience. Don't miss the links at the bottom to an interactive persuasive essay map and a persuasive writing leaflets practice site.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55)

In the Classroom

Share information from the site on your interactive whiteboard when teaching persuasive writing. Print the charts and information from the site for students to include in writing journals as a handy review. Share a link to the site on your classroom website or newsletter for students to use as a resource at home. Have students try out one of the links (interactives) at the bottom to help organize their writing.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ALTs altastic - Altastic.com

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find useful, interactive whiteboard resources, downloads, and lesson ideas (aimed at the elementary levels). These resources are divided into categories such as Flashcards, Scorers,...more
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Find useful, interactive whiteboard resources, downloads, and lesson ideas (aimed at the elementary levels). These resources are divided into categories such as Flashcards, Scorers, Interactive Stuff, Time Killers and the Lab. Each of the resources can be downloaded or accessed directly from the site by clicking the image next to the title. They will run on computers or any brand of interactive whiteboard or projector. Flashcard sets include handwriting practice, number practice, the Verbinator, mysteries, flags of the world, and more. Scorers are different forms of scoreboards use keeping track of game play. The Lab section is a very nice interactive demonstrating proper formation of letters in block, basic, or cursive script. Click on the color link on this page to break each of the letters into colored sections to help visualize the proper letter formation. Be sure to check out the interactive clock and dice located under Interactive Stuff. This site appears to be updated often, so be sure to check back. The downloads are JAVA applets that can run offline. Unfortunately, the activities do not work on iOs devices like iPads.

tag(s): alphabet (92), flags (21), flash cards (46), handwriting (18), iwb (31), numbers (204), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Display the handwriting flashcards on your interactive whiteboard as a student-operated center to practice letter writing skills. Choose random letters, and have students make a list of words beginning with that letter. The What's This activity would be great vocabulary practice for ELL students or speech/language students. Use the Timekillers on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for a quick 5 or 10 minute class or center activity.

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IndyKids - IndyKids

Grades
3 to 8
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IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of ...more
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IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of the US. Articles are written by both kids and adults, featuring topics related to current events and topics of interest to kids. Articles written by kids are noted as such and include the writer's age. At the time of this review, some of the "kid written articles" included Growing Poverty: Hard to Ignore At Home, Wasps: Do I Know You, and several others. Be sure to check out the category search on the lower right-hand portion of the site with topics such as: Kids Around the World, Culture and Activism, Education, and much more. Newspapers are archived in PDF format for easy printing and dated back several years.

tag(s): creative writing (166), expository writing (44), journalism (46), persuasive writing (55), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and have students choose an article to read, summarize, or expand upon. After reading articles on the site, have students choose a current topic that interests them and have them write an article as practice of informational writing. In science or social studies, study the newspaper format as students write articles reporting on scientific discoveries or famous people. Use the format of this newsletter as a resource for creating and publishing your own classroom newsletter online. During newspapers in education month, use this site to findaccessible articles for any age. Create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."
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Infographics archive - Infographics Archive

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic...more
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Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), graphic design (35), infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to a lesson or unit. Use Think-Pair-Share to list and share information provided by the graphic. Develop questions to be answered to understand the information or questions that they just wonder. Allow students or groups of students to choose an Infographic that interests them and report on the information given. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand content and connect it with the real world, such as showing the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have them explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Since infographics are often key to understanding an article, reading teachers will appreciate this large collection to use in teaching/practicing how to interpret informational graphics within a text. Share one each day for students to practice telling you the "main idea" of the graphic.

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Literacy Connections - Educators Circle, LLC.

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Literacy Connections provides information on reading: teaching and tutoring techniques for all ages (young child, adult literacy) and ESL/ELL students. Find resources that are useful...more
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Literacy Connections provides information on reading: teaching and tutoring techniques for all ages (young child, adult literacy) and ESL/ELL students. Find resources that are useful for teachers, volunteers, and tutors. Topics include; read aloud, fingerplays, readers theater, songs, spelling, high frequency words, writing instruction, the language experience approach, phonics, word study, word families, the best in children's literature and more. Broaden your knowledge for ESL/ELL, literacy programs, and parent information. The (many) articles are well written and cover a broad variety of topics such as learning the letters of the alphabet, encouraging your student (or child) to be a reader, reading aloud, and many others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), literature (275), phonics (75), preK (279), readers theater (17), reading comprehension (116), sight words (37), spelling (168), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Make your reading and writing workshop come alive with a wealth of resources and information at your fingertips. Help your school volunteer program or business partnership with background training to work effectively with your students. Share this one on your website as a link for parents. Periodically revisit to be sure your language arts program has the most useful and meaningful components. Gifted and ESL/ELL programs will greatly benefit from additional ideas and fun activities for whole group instruction, centers, or even homework practice.
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Wridea - Octeth Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate...more
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Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate using this tool, you must have individual memberships (email required). Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify the members who may collaborate and make alterations. At this time, this site does not work properly in Internet Explorer. However, it is a great tool to use in Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or other browsers.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.

Comments

This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.

Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12

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