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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
1 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (359)

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."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (281), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Tricider - tricider.com

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. ...more
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Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. Invite people to join in making decisions via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Options include setting a time limit, or closing down the question or discussion. There is no registration required, and the site is completely free.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), conflict resolution (8), debate (41), persuasive writing (55), polls and surveys (48), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Introduce Tricider on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to develop arguments sides for an upcoming debate or persuasive writing assignment. Promote higher level thinking by asking students to brainstorm options and set criteria to choose. Build mental flexibility as they see alternate points of view on an issue. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects, decision making, and organization.

If you have students create book ads in your class, or projects, your students can vote on which book they want to read next or which project they would like to investigate further, etc. Teachers can also use Tricider to survey students about what resources on your website are the best, what further explanation they may need about a unit in math or science, which project students would like to do as a summative assessment, or ways to encourage "green" practices in your community. Be sure to have your students use a code or number instead of an actual name.

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Elmer's & Kids In Need Foundation Teacher Tool Kit Grants - Elmer's

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Apply for one of these school supply grants offered annually by Elmer's so they can do one or more of the projects in the "catalog" of ideas Elmer's offers. All ...more
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Apply for one of these school supply grants offered annually by Elmer's so they can do one or more of the projects in the "catalog" of ideas Elmer's offers. All certified K-12 teachers are eligible, though priority is given to first year teachers. Read the criteria and click to download the grant application. The application cycle appears to open in Feb-April for funding the following school year. The catalog of ideas offers downloadable pdfs for many subjects and grades.

tag(s): crafts (41), grants (19)

In the Classroom

Explore the many crafts, center, and curriculum project ideas for many subjects. Many are offered for grades K-8 and a few for high school. Then apply for a grant for the coming school year. You might also enjoy simply browsing for good craft and curriculum project ideas, even if you do not seek a grant.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
12 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. To begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

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

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety of can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ESL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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Education.com - Education.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find parent information and the ideas to help their kids reach their full potential and make learning fun. There are also many resources for classroom teachers, making the site worthwhile...more
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Find parent information and the ideas to help their kids reach their full potential and make learning fun. There are also many resources for classroom teachers, making the site worthwhile for both. The site is very large, and there is much to explore (articles, lesson activities, worksheets, and more). Find grade-level specific links on the left-hand side, from before Pre-School all the way to High School. Search by topic or browse by age, topic, or featured information. Other methods to browse include menus for Just Ask, Activities, Worksheets, Video, and more. Featured topics each month include back to school information, kindergarten readiness, what to expect in various grade levels, bullying, and other topics relevant to school-age children. There is also a free smartphone app. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter including a new activity each week.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), black history (59), bullying (52), child development (25), crafts (41), parent conferences (22), parents (56), psychology (64), science fairs (25)

In the Classroom

Find information on current education topics such as bullying, creative arts, and more to use in the classroom or share with parents during conferences or in classroom newsletters. Share this site with parents as a resource to help them understand academic, social, and developmental benchmarks expected with each grade level and as a resource for additional activities and worksheets to help support classroom learning. Peruse the many articles related to everything education (for both parents and teachers).

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Smarthistory Art History Converstaion - Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker with Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning...more
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning site. Investigate the world of art history accompanied by two professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory started as a a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos. Later it became an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Smarthistory has recently merged with KahnAcademy utilizing the same concept: that high quality education should be free and available to all. Included in each video are informational resources to give extra information. Many universities use Smarthistory as a required part of their curriculum.

tag(s): art history (70), medieval (27), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

A must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Public Domain Pictures - Bobeck Ltd.

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to ...more
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Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to worry about a model or property release is if you choose to use an image for commercial use. Most images are free. Enjoy some time browsing pictures. Please note that a log-in (with an email address) is required to upload your own pictures. You do not need an account to download a picture for free. Be sure not to click on the "Premium Download" button, as this download is for a fee (even with the "free" photos). Scroll down a bit and click on "download picture" to download for free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic design (35), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Share this website on your class web page so that students have easy and legal access to pictures for their projects and presentations. Of course, you will still require proper image credits! Be sure to offer clear instructions about how to download FOR FREE. In an art or photography class, have students post their work to get exposure and recognition for their great images. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Festisite Text Layout - Festisite

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make a pdf using the text you enter and a creative layout you choose. Simply type or paste in your text into the large box, choose from one of the ...more
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Make a pdf using the text you enter and a creative layout you choose. Simply type or paste in your text into the large box, choose from one of the three available fonts, font size, and paper size. Then choose a layout for the finished project. Text can be produced as a banner, maze, rebus, spiral, Valentine (heart), or waves. Students will love seeing their work reproduced in a new way! The finished product is generated as a pdf file to be saved and easily printed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), poetry (228), valentines day (14), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Motivate reluctant writers. When they complete work, allow them to use the site to generate a copy in whatever way they choose. Share student work on your bulletin board using this site to create interesting layouts to use. This is a must-have at Valentine season. Have students write a series of words they use to describe their mom or dad, then paste them into the heart layout generator. Poof! Instant Valentines, ready to print on colorful paper and send home! Older students will appreciate making creative layouts of vocabulary words and more, including world language classes. Make spelling practice more fun by having students make their own layouts or personal spelling lists.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fiction Teachers - Meadowbrook Press

Grades
2 to 8
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls...more
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Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls to the Rescue, a mini mystery, or a new fangled fairy tale. Lesson plans have creative ideas to inspire students, teachers, and parents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (228), readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Jazz up your language arts class with fun, laughter and great readers theater scripts. Find links for other websites for more resources. Discover book resources to make your language arts workshop become the favorite part of your students' day. Use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), at centers, for parent resource, or additional advice for tutors.

After students have experienced two or three of the reader's theater scripts from this site, have them create their own script for a favorite story. Use the script writing tips found on Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page reviewed here.

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Word Talk - CALL Scotland

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary...more
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Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary assists with definition and spelling. The ability to turn the words into MP3 format is available. This plugin has won the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Include Word Talk as your classroom helper for FREE! Offer assisted learning for struggling readers or writers to provide success. Provide study guides or notes in an MP3 file to include on your website. Offer as a way to encourage independence and confidence in all learners. Incorporate into writer's workshop to help with editing and proofreading. Help your ESL/ELL and special needs students find more success. This helps you achieve the technology goal of assisted learning in IEP students. Offer all directions with the text to speech option.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hoot - Hoot.me

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Hoot.Me is a Facebook application that changes Facebook into a big study session. Allow the app access to Facebook. Enter topics you are working on and team up with others ...more
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Hoot.Me is a Facebook application that changes Facebook into a big study session. Allow the app access to Facebook. Enter topics you are working on and team up with others users online. Hoot.me sends can send a hoot sound when you receive a message or send a notification to your desktop. As part of this app, extra Facebook features that can be a distraction while studying are eliminated. Participate in video or text chats. The smart text editor can be used to enter complex equations easily. Build a study group with other Facebook users. Note: only a small fraction of schools allow Facebook access at school, so you may want to tell students about this app so they can use it at home for study groups.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to study together online using a tool with which they are familiar. If you can, test it out while at school, demonstrating to students how the application works. This would be useful for any type of collaboration project (much more practical than driving to each others' homes) or even for a study group.

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Brightstorm English - Brightstorm, Inc.

Grades
3 to 9
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find FREE English videos covering every topic in Grammar and Writing. Categories include: parts of speech, sentence basics, sentence style, voice, and style with multiple videos for...more
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Find FREE English videos covering every topic in Grammar and Writing. Categories include: parts of speech, sentence basics, sentence style, voice, and style with multiple videos for each topic. The Writing topics include: Parts of an Essay, Types of Essays, Writing Terms, and Writing Process.

tag(s): essays (21), expository writing (44), grammar (216), grammar review (37), parts of speech (68), process writing (42), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Do your students tune out when you start explaining grammar? Bring another teacher into your room by using these videos. Put on the Nouns video and have your students take notes. They will learn about common nouns, proper nouns, concrete nouns, abstract nouns, etc. Pause the video at the beginning so students can write notes on the whiteboard. Then when you start the video have the students fill in the information in their notes as the designated "teacher" fills in the information on the whiteboard. You can follow-up by having students write sentences of their own using the different types of nouns and share them on your interactive whiteboard. (Alternatively, "flip" your classroom bay assigning students to watch the video as homework, then come to class prepared to apply and practice the concepts.)

Put the URL for a video on a classroom computer for students, or pairs of students to rotate through. You can even have a follow-up activity stored there for the students to complete after watching the video. To show what they have learned from the video, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. You could do this on a weekly basis. If you have two computers available, students could rotate through one of the grammar videos and one of the writing videos weekly. Put the URL for the videos on your website for students and parents to use as homework help or review.
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Socrative - Socrative.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Socrative is a smart student response system -- the answer to not having expensive "educational clickers" in your classroom. Socrative is in beta at this time and is free. Their ...more
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Socrative is a smart student response system -- the answer to not having expensive "educational clickers" in your classroom. Socrative is in beta at this time and is free. Their apps work on tablets, smartphones, iPod Touch, laptops, and others. There is an introductory video demonstrating teacher and student logins and how your class will interact in real-time. You can create your own multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions. You may also choose to use one of their ready-made activities as exit tickets, thoughtful questions, or games. See your students' responses in an Excel file or view online as a Google spreadsheet. Multiple choice questions are automatically corrected.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (199), game based learning (103), gamification (65), polls and surveys (48), questioning (31), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

If you've ever wanted greater student engagement, increased student interest, and heightened discussion and interactivity in your classroom, Socrative is the answer. Students can give their input and express their views anonymously, if you wish.

In any curriculum area, ask open-ended questions and display student responses with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Students could then use a tool like Thinkmeter reviewed here to vote on the options.

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.
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The Wilderness Downtown - Chris Milk

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive music video will bring in a street view of any address you enter. The pop group, Arcade Fire, worked with Google to develop this video for its song ...more
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This interactive music video will bring in a street view of any address you enter. The pop group, Arcade Fire, worked with Google to develop this video for its song "We Used To Wait." The video is best viewed in Chrome, but can also be viewed in Safari, and most of it on Internet Explorer. It uses Google Maps and Google Street View to bring the address you entered directly into the movie. You don't have to enter an exact address for the interaction to happen. You can put in a city, state, and country and get some very good results. A warning will appear that the information isn't complete, but click on "continue anyway" to see the results. Not only is this a sentimental trip down memory lane for you, but there are a myriad of ways to use this video with your students. Note: the video actually launches in multiple smaller windows, so allow all of them to montage on your screen! The final "postcard" that prompts you to write to your younger self uses the same artistic font as the title page. Take a screen shot of it to preserve what your message.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), poetry (228), video (254), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

World history, and world culture teachers could use this video by putting in a city and country where you know there are historical buildings from the time period you are studying. Science and math teachers could put in cities and countries for the origins of famous scientists or mathematicians or locations of major environmental events. And, of course, world language and geography teachers can input any city and country you are studying.

Any student, but especially ESL/ELL students, will discover forgotten memories after putting in an address and watching the film. Students who have always lived in the same home may want to put in the address of a favorite relative or vacation spot. At the end there is a prompt to write a postcard; however, it cannot be mailed to anyone in particular. So, have students jot memories ignited by the video on paper or in an open word processing document. Have them use one of the memories as a prompt for a memoir. 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!

During Poetry Month or a poetry unit, talk about the song lyrics as poetry, then have students write their own poems and read them along with their personal location video (with sound muted). Make poetry a personal performance piece!

Have you ever wanted to show your students the setting of a novel you are reading as a class? Imagine using the setting for Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet and putting in the street, city, and zipcode for Hyde Park and the University of Chicago. Powerful! At the end of the book there is a chase scene, and the students will really be able to visualize this section of the book. You might want to show the setting at the beginning and ask the students to write about why the person is running. After reading the novel, students could select different music to fit their impression of the book. Just mute the music in the video and allow their selection to play. Have students explain why they felt their choice fit that part of the novel better. Have students do this and vote on the musical selection they think fits best by using a tool such as Thinkmeter reviewed here.

This video could also be used as a prompt for a creative writing. Ask the students to listen carefully to the words in the music and connect the runner with the words, and explain why the figure is running? What might the figure be running from? Toward? Or, students could create a poem for the video, and even put the poem to music, or use the music from a favorite song for their poem. This site invites creativity and multimedia responses.

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I Am the Words and Pictures I Create - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This interdisciplinary lesson uses writing and art as a way to build a sense of community both within and outside the school. Students write and share across grade levels, and ...more
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This interdisciplinary lesson uses writing and art as a way to build a sense of community both within and outside the school. Students write and share across grade levels, and they include images and/or drawings as additional means of expression. Finally, the resulting works are collected and added to a real or virtual library. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst in 2002. TeachersFirst editors have since added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): communities (35), creative writing (166), expository writing (44)

In the Classroom

Use this model of write/collaborate/share for any writing project and to build relationships across grade levels.

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Big Think - Big Think

Grades
7 to 12
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This ...more
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This website is a phenomenal source for information and news. The philosophy of Big Think is that as we "move to the knowledge era" that you will be able to better function if you know more and understand what you know. This website was awarded one of TIME magazine's best websites of 2011 for news and information. Please screen any articles that you wish to share BEFORE sharing with your students. Some content is NOT appropriate for the classroom. This is not a site you want to send students off to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), business (58), cross cultural understanding (115), environment (317), news (261), politics (99), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Choose a story that relates to your topic that you are teaching such as science or even music with a story such as "How Music is Good for Your Brain." Share the story with your students. Discuss the writings, and then use it as a platform on how students should approach the things that they are learning in class. This way they develop critical thinking skills and extract the most important information and leave the accessory facts to the side. Assign specific articles to cooperative learning groups to read and explore together. Then have students create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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