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The Magic Key - Adventures - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant...more
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant Storks talks about capital letters, and there are several other topics. Once you click on the activity you wish to teach, you are presented with a choice of "Game, Worksheet, or Teachers Resources." The Teachers Resources include detailed lesson plans with standards (matched to UK standards), extension activities, and other classroom ideas. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): patterns (85), sentences (50), sound (103), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching any of the nine concepts that are highlighted at this site, be sure to take a look. Share HOW to do the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to explore on their own. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans, worksheet pages for homework practice, and interactives as learning stations or centers. Use this site with emergent readers, special education students, or your ESL and ELL students. List this link on your class website for students to use to practice at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (169), digital storytelling (155), images (276), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Character Scrapbook - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 6
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Create a Character Scrapbook to analyze characters in a book that the class is reading or for books that students are reading individually. This colorful site asks for the "Book ...more
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Create a Character Scrapbook to analyze characters in a book that the class is reading or for books that students are reading individually. This colorful site asks for the "Book Title" and the "Character's Name." Then the fun begins! You can design a face (hair, eyes, nose, and mouth). You can enter up to ten things that you know about the character. You can choose to analyze a person or animal. There are many options available at this site. Other highlights include "draw your own" options, print option, a help button, and a link for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

What a fabulous twist to a character analysis. Use this site to have your students analyze the main character in a story that your class is currently reading or one they read independently or in lit circles. Make the activity a group project, by using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the print option and have students create character scrapbooks in place of a traditional book report. Compare the characters from diverse books being read in different lit circles.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Real Trees 4 Kids - The National Christmas Tree Association

Grades
K to 12
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down ...more
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Trees, trees, and more trees - that is what you find at this site. There are lesson ideas and activities for all grade levels (K-12). The activities are broken down into grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each level includes several "Teacher's Guides." In grades K-2, the site's goal is for students to learn about trees and their parts using writing, science, and math! The Grades 3-5 section focuses on the life cycle of conifer trees. This level also discusses how real trees are recycled, the types of trees grown on farms, and new vocabulary words. In grades 6-8 students learn about the life cycles and scientific names of the trees and take a look (first-hand) into the life of a real tree grower. Grades 9-12 challenges students to dig deeper into the soil and check out how REAL TREE growers keep their crops healthy, how supply and demand works, and more details about conifers. There are many other highlights at this site: ready to go units, photos, and more. The TF editorial staff checked many of the links; there were two not working at the time of this review. However, the other 30-40 links did work. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): conservation (128), earth (232), earth day (112), plants (154), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site to "spruce" up Earth Day or your study of plants and trees! The Teacher's Guides are basically ready-to-go units of study. Some of the activities are more interactive than others. If you are looking for a more "technology" friendly activity, consider having students create a wiki guide to the various trees in their hometowns (or around their school). Or have them create a video "Tree Tour." Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Punny Costumes - Bonnie Neubauer

Grades
4 to 7
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween ...more
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Who needs Halloween when you can have costumes based on word play? Think beyond October 31. At Punny Costumes, you will find a list of simple (no sewing required) Halloween costumes that are all based on word plays. The website claims that these idiom costumes will, "elicit moans and groans from bad puns." Some of the costume ideas include "All Thumbs," "Black Holes," and "Hip Chick".

tag(s): costumes (6), halloween (39), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

You may want to list this link on your website for parents and students to use at home (to create some "unique" costumes). Challenge your students to create some additional "Word Play Costume" ideas. Plan a Punny Costume day as a culmination of your idioms unit! Be sure to share pictures (unidentifiable) on your class wiki or have students vote for their favorite costume picture using an embedded polling tool such as Poll Junkie (reviewed here).

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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, wy not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mr. Lincoln's Attic - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
3 to 9
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's...more
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's In A Name," and "Oral History Interviews." Although this site was created as a "Teacher's Guide" for classes visiting the museum, the lessons can be used independently without a trip to Illinois! Each topic includes standards, discussion questions, printable pages, pictures, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): letter writing (21), lincoln (86), presidents (131), writing (362)

In the Classroom

This "Teacher's Guide" is ready to go and easily adaptable to various grade levels. Project the discussion questions on your interactive whiteboard or projector, have students write responses to the questions or have a class debate. Print out the activities, and use this site as a mini unit. Have students interview a family member for the "Oral History Interview," and have students learn the meaning behind their own names with the lesson, "What's In a Name."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ...more
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ideas feature both technology-enhanced lessons and non-tech experiences. Choose from the lesson titles (sorted by level) to find lesson ideas best suited to your students and the subjects you teach.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (45), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

No matter what subject you teach, you can find something to fit in your plans for Presidents Day or the Lincoln Bicentennial. Use these ideas and adapt at will. You can even email an idea to your teacher colleague to save a friend time!

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Valentine's Day - DLTK

Grades
K to 5
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This website provides a wealth of resources for any elementary school teacher. There are reproducible math worksheets (numerous subjects and levels), lots of challenging puzzles, writing...more
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This website provides a wealth of resources for any elementary school teacher. There are reproducible math worksheets (numerous subjects and levels), lots of challenging puzzles, writing pages, reading activities and puzzle worksheets. Plus they provide craft ideas, poems, recipes and cards. If you are planning your Valentine's Day lessons - this site is a must have!

tag(s): holidays (152), preK (291), valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites, to visit every February for some Valentine's Day ideas.

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Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use ...more
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use this interactive site sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Students will enjoy playing the many games from colonial life, or they may enjoy making an acrostic of their name. Slide shows of coinage, Gilbert's paintings, and the Queen's visit in 1957 add depth to students' education on Williamsburg. A comparison study between Queen Elizabeth's visits to Colonial Williamsburg in 1957 and 2007 opens the door to looking at differences in our world over a span of 50 years. Click on the Jigsaw Puzzle logo to enter the multitude of games and activities available. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (108), colonization (17), handwriting (17), williamsburg (12), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Students may be paired or work individually to explore the activities found at this site. Make sure your computers are fairly fast or the games may be too slow to use.

To spice up a writing lesson or add interest to a writing center, have students send colonial postcards, via email (or blog), to classmates. Content of messages may require extra supervision. A safer way to send messages to fellow classmates would be to use the Colonial Card Creator where the students must print out the card, then handwrite their message in the cards. A printer needs to be accessible for the card creator. Older students can explore the interactive draft of the Constitution on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Be sure to include this one on your teacher web page for students to continue to access from home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Starters - Scholastic

Grades
K to 6
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Type your name and choose your grade level (K-1, 2, 3, or 4-6). Then get ready for the wheel to spin! You can spin four wheels to get a very ...more
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Type your name and choose your grade level (K-1, 2, 3, or 4-6). Then get ready for the wheel to spin! You can spin four wheels to get a very specific writing prompt. For example, Describe a vacation with a skinny cactus who loves country music. Each wheel produces a different part of the prompt. Each time the wheel spins, a new prompt is created. The prompts are created for the specified grade level and are highly creative. Be sure to check out the Teacher's Guide that offers learning objectives, specific lesson ideas, and printables.

Be warned: the "spinning" page has some rather loud audio sounds. Either turn up the volume and enjoy, or hit the mute button! This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creative writing (169), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Whether you are looking for a daily prompt for your students, or individual prompts for writing stations, you will find some creative ideas here. Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up writing stations and have students use this site to find their prompts. Use this site to differentiate for your gifted students by allowing them to choose a prompt at a higher grade level. List this link on your class website for some writing practice or extra credit writing exercises.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fable Library - Fable Vision

Grades
2 to 6
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of ...more
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This site includes online stories, short downloadable books, a story for older children, and even a spot for young writers to create their own fables. One story, The Adventures of Sticky Burr, is a comic, with continually updated, new episodes. Readers can see fables that other children have contributed by clicking on "Create Your Own." ESL, ELL, and emergent readers may find reading the short illustrated segments offered at this site less of a challenge than reading a textbook or hard copy book. NOTE: the actual fonts used in some of the books may be difficult for some younger children to read. Preview with this thought in mind before assigning a fable to a student to read alone. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (71), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Offer young readers the option of doing "outside" reading online to encourage them to read in a variety of formats, including both the fables and downloadable books. Look at one of the fables with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading the story aloud to the class. Share models of the "student created" stories and then challenge your students to write their own fable (either to share with the class or submit to the site). Be sure to be aware of your school's Acceptable Use Policy on sharing or submitting what the students have written to the website. Obtain parental permission before submitting any work.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Celebrate the 100th Day of School - Scholastic

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers 100th day of school activities in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and "Just for Fun." There are activities that focus on spelling, writing, reading, history,...more
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This site offers 100th day of school activities in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and "Just for Fun." There are activities that focus on spelling, writing, reading, history, counting, sorting, probability, density, and many other specific topics. The main page of this site features the Language Arts activities. To find the other ideas, you must click on the subject area on the left side of the top of the site (see the box More Information.

tag(s): counting (120), density (21), estimation (45), literature (276), mass (22), measurement (160), money (190), probability (130), sorting (10), spelling (166), volume (44), writing (362)

In the Classroom

There are many 100th day sites out there, but this one includes middle school grades too. Check out the activities in the areas that you teach. Most require minimal preparations. Use the writing prompts as the starting point for your 100th Day celebration. Share all of the prompt options on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to choose which prompt to write about. Why not share the lesson ideas with your class a few days before the 100th day and allow students to vote for their favorite lesson idea. Or allow cooperative learning groups to try the activities on their own.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (152), idioms (44), sight words (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (80), journals (21), writing (362), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (89), images (276)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
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Bill'z Treasure Chest - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
4 to 10
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This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New ...more
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This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New prompts are added at least once per week, sometimes twice or more. There are archived writing prompts dating back to 2005 - so there are PLENTY of choices to use in your classroom. Adding a comment requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email addresses, create a free Gmail email address.

tag(s): blogs (89), writing (362), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Share the writing prompt(s) on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students independently writing on paper or typing on the computer. These would be terrific prompts for student blogs! Provide two or three choices for students to use writing prompts. Have younger students work with a partner to brainstorm and list possible stories based on the prompt.

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Screencast-o-matic - Big Nerd Software

Grades
4 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy ...more
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy way to create a tutorial from your own computer screen. When you visit sites that have tutorials on how to use their software, you are looking at a screencast. Use this site to give specific directions on how to use different applications in and out of the classroom. Audio is not necessary for the screencasts but may be beneficial, depending upon the tutorial. An example can be found here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Users will need to know how to use whatever computer software, website, or skill they are demonstrating. Following basic directions and managing browser windows or tabs are a must, as well as the managing settings of the computer being used. The site demonstrates how to troubleshoot problems on both PC's and Mac's.

Click "create" to start. As the screencast is being created, files will need to be written temporarily to the desktop. A security screen will pop up that asks to run the application. You will be asked to "trust" or "not trust" the security certificate. Depending upon your school's Acceptable Use Policy and computer security settings, you may not be able to complete these steps. Choose the screen size when played and whether audio will be needed (audio can be tested here as well, which is recommended: settings may need to be adjusted for different microphones.) Open a new tab or browser window and enter the web address of the site (or software) that will be the subject of your screencast. Drag the black frame by clicking the line and dragging it in order to choose what will be recorded during the screencast. The microphone icon has a green bar that shows recording levels. A green arrow showing instead of a green bar denotes that sound is not being captured. The red button is used to start recording while the black "X" stops the recording. Once you stop recording, click on your screencast tab or browser window and preview your recording. You can then either upload or discard your screencast. At this point you can create an account easily. Save your screencast to a channel of your own. Use the embed code to place your screencast into a blog, wiki, or other site. You can also use a widget code to embed the screencast player into a website. Screencasts can then be made from your other site and will save directly to your screencast channel. Screencasts can be set to different levels of privacy and comments can be turned on or off.

Teachers who must request certificate approval by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value. Unless checked to turn off comments, this site will allow comments on your work. Many districts prohibit such interaction and steps should be taken to prohibit commenting from others. When using the widget, the tool does not attribute work to specific students. You may wish to have the students identify their work while creating the screencast. Screencasts will only be able to be viewed when using an embed code in a site, wiki, or blog. By marking the screencast "searchable," it can be available to the public. Recently created screencasts do not appear on the home page of screencast-o-matic. Students are able to self-register, but you may want to keep a record of logins and passwords for students who forget.

Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creation of classroom content. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to use the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Challenge your gifted students to create a screencast as a final project rather than a more traditional project. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as the record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions.

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Young Novelists Workbooks - Tavia Stewart, et. al.

Grades
3 to 12
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This is an extension of the website Young Writers Program which has been completely updated and revamped to be more user-friendly and appealing. The workbooks are very handy...more
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This is an extension of the website Young Writers Program which has been completely updated and revamped to be more user-friendly and appealing. The workbooks are very handy in themselves. They are downloadable in pdf. format and therefore can be used as individual workbooks for each student working at his/her own pace. While there is a lot to do at the home site, this activity can be used independently for a writing project to extend beyond the time frame the site designers have in mind. The workbooks require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): writing (362)

In the Classroom

Having students work excitedly and independently on a writing project is something most teachers can only dream about. This workbook site makes it do-able, allowing each student to work at his or her own pace, choosing those workbook pages most useful to him or her. You might individualize the unit by choosing which pages they must do interspersed with those they want to do, all having similar end results. Assessment can also be individualized depending on the class you teach. It is helpful if students can work daily on computers on this project. There are lesson plans included at the home site if you so desire, but they are not necessary to work with the student workbooks.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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