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Wisemapping - Wisemapping Corporation

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create a free diagram (concept map, graphic organizer) to represent words, ideas, or tasks to aid in studying, organizing, or problem solving. Link documents to a wise map and share...more
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Create a free diagram (concept map, graphic organizer) to represent words, ideas, or tasks to aid in studying, organizing, or problem solving. Link documents to a wise map and share or embed diagrams with other maps.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the icons for editing and creating a mindmap. Icons and commands are the same as in any office and free applications that most people use. View the free demo for an introduction of using Wisemapping. Use the demo editor to play with the tools and learn what they do. Note: the demo function does not allow you to save your creation as it is a sandbox area for learning. Allow students an opportunity to learn to play first without teacher direction as each person will find different ways to use wisemapping for their best benefit. Click on a set of words to edit the words, color, font, etc. in the bubble. Drag items easily around the screen by clicking and dragging the icon to drop into a new configuration. Add "icons" and flags anywhere on your mindmap. Add a "note" to a bubble anywhere. The note appears like a little sticky note on the bubble and expands when clicked on. Add a "link" to any of the text on the wisemap that leads to any link on the web you specify. Export as a scalable vector graphic (svg), PDF document, or image file. "Share" to work collaboratively with others. Users must have a login in order to share and publish. Click on the "history" of a wisemap to view the contributions of others.

Assign sections of current curriculum topic to groups of students to map out and explain in detail. Link to outside web pages and pictures and create notes with additional study hints and information. Assign a different group to review information for accuracy and add additional information and explanations. Using this process, a wisemap of a chapter or unit can be created easily and efficiently while benefiting all learners.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given topic. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; 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; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn in.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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The Harvard Writing Center - Harvard Writing Center

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
The Harvard Writing Center is a collection of online "handouts" that you may download and print. This series provides ready-made one page resources on topics that range from How to...more
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The Harvard Writing Center is a collection of online "handouts" that you may download and print. This series provides ready-made one page resources on topics that range from How to Read an Assignment, Outlining, Developing a Thesis, and many others including revising, editing, and Tips on Grammar, Punctuation, and Style. The information cuts right to the chase, and provides examples that demonstrate the explanations and enhance understanding.

tag(s): expository writing (44), grammar (216), punctuation (43), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites and provide a link on your class web page to give students access to review and consult expert advice any time it is needed for drafting, revising, and editing essays and other writing assignments. You will want to project a few of the handouts on your classroom whiteboard or projector to make students aware of the offerings, how easy they are to access, and how useful they are to use as a reference. You may even want to print a class set of particular handouts. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own online "resource" posters dealing with a topic you are studying. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here).

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My Immigration Story - R. Ramos Y Sanchez

Grades
8 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple...more
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This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple click, a box opens to share a story in writing. Writers only need a name (even just a first name), address, and email address (optional) to register. Also included on the site is an NPR interview with the creator of the site, indicating the site is not political, just a vehicle for allowing immigrants to share their concerns and triumphs. Other features of the website include an interesting quote from Benjamin Franklin concerning the public view of immigrants of his time, and many compelling photos of immigrants from all around the world. This site does include some minor advertising.

tag(s): immigration (58), migration (59), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL/ELL students share their stories here (with permission from parents) when doing a biography writing unit. Have all students search for stories of immigrants whose ethnic background resembles their own. Have each student choose one story to read about and share a quick multimedia project with the class, such as a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Use stories from this site as a writing prompt for a poem or essay about an aspect of immigrant life, asking students to put themselves in the immigrant's shoes.

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What's Your Reading History - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of ...more
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of readers and persons they are today. Students close their eyes and listen to a guided journey through their reading pasts; they then respond to it in a journal. Options include reading the words of a published author who realized she was illiterate and discussing or writing about what she said. A teacher's pdf is included to help students format their writings. McREL standards are included (for grades 6-12).

tag(s): independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

Use this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."

Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Obsurvey - Copenhagen Code

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio ...more
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Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio boxes, checklists, and short or long text. Add page breaks, copy questions, and move questions in your survey. Use the editor bar at the top of your survey page to save, preview, or collect responses. Use additional formatting including adding links. When saving, choose to have only one response per computer or many from the same computer.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable of simple formatting and the various choices available for a survey. Follow the simple online guide to make your survey. View the demo on the main page for more information on how to use Obsurvey.

Consider creating a class account for students to use. Students can turn in a word document of questions to be able to attribute work to students. Be sure to spell out appropriate and inappropriate use, consequences, and then be sure to follow through.

Use a survey or poll to find answers to questions that are simple to collect data on (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) Use data to show averages, results of small and large samples, graphing, simple statistics, and more. Find results of what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Want student input on a unit or possible next activity? Use a poll to find out! Use as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Polls and surveys are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Uncover misconceptions from students in your class as well as the school community.

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Random Poem Generator - Mathijs1988

Grades
4 to 12
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or ...more
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or AABB), then select "poemize this page." Results will include words from the selected web page in poem form. Examples are included on the main page showing how this can be done with text from Romeo and Juliet, Pokerface by Lady Gaga, and more. After the poem appears, there is a choice for creating a new poem from the same site.

tag(s): poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Introduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.

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Fold Play - Alfa, Superspy, and Octave

Grades
1 to 10
11 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books,...more
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Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books, double-sided poly puzzles, or invertible cubes. The clear instructional tutorials and directions make the process painless. Some projects even include video instructions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (40), creative writing (166), geometric shapes (163), origami (17), paper folding (5), photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create clever "All About Me" projects while teaching mathematical principals about 2D and 3D figures, line, area, perimeter, and planes. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. The most effective way to use this site is to allow students to work on it in pairs so they can easily assist each other. The tutorials are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector because students can follow (and fold) along with the presentation. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating how to create 3D shapes with sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here (reviewed here). Ask students to explain the folding process with geometric terms such as fractional parts, symmetry, faces, edges, rotations, lines, triangles, angles, and shapes. Foldplay turns math instruction into an art. Younger students may find some folding tasks a challenge, so be sure to provide a buddy for those with poor fine motor skills.

Make gifts for special occasions, such as to thank the school principal or cafeteria workers. Create unique ornaments using student photos. Decorate a "physics tree" or "author tree" using Fold Play ornaments made from images of the concepts or of books by that author.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

I was about to bookmark this site and use it for my Intermediate students. I would consider this to have inappropriate content for students. The site talks about unhealthy attraction to pornographic haiku and lesbianism.

Editor's Note: We investigated this comment and looked through all the Foldplay activities/templates. ALL areas are safe and school appropriate EXCEPT under "Links and Stuff." The value of the activities in the other areas makes this site worth keeping, even if you must monitor to avoid the "links" area. We have also contacted FoldPlay to explain teacher concerns.
Nina, TX, Grades: 3 - 5

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (57), slides (63)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about...more
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about Collaborize Classroom including 8 Online Icebreakers. Tutorials for learning how to enter students into groups, creating new groups, and choosing discussion types exist. Consensus discussions such as yes/no, multiple choice, and vote/suggest can be chosen. Open discussions can occur using the forum discussion type. Add video, images, documents, and more to your discussions. Students, however, cannot upload material to the discussions. Because it is a closed group, outside comments are not a concern (group members must be added, invited, or approved). The process from setup to a functioning site is very simple. Tutorials and technical support is available and make this tool very easy to use. Use participation and activity tools in Collaborize Classroom to track student participation. Use the available PDF's for assistance in using Collaborize Classroom and ideas to use in class to stimulate discussions and engage learning. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), forum (9), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for discussions, project collaboration, voting on issues, and sharing resources in and out of the classroom. Increase student participation and encourage in-class discussions and outside homework, extension of the classroom, and activity. Use for blended learning activities that include discussion questions to extend the discussions from in class to outside the classroom. Provide multiple choice questions that they can answer, agree or disagree with statements, post comments, or vote on other responses. Use the discussions to debate issues in the school community or within the country. Critique and comment on current events as they are happening. Use to discuss environmental problems. Use groupings to create literature circles. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

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

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

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

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Snag Learnng - Snagfilms LLC

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point,...more
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point, the history of various forms of music, effects of desert winds, and more. Choose your subject matter from the tab along the top. Choose a grade level band as well to find videos appropriate for different age groups. Warning: as topics frequently change, be sure to preview before you share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): movies (64), twitter (50), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use videos in your subject area to inform students about the topic being studied. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using backchannel while viewing the documentary to allow students to express their feelings and thoughts. Try using the site "Get your students talking about what you want them to talk about" (reviewed here). Follow viewing with blog posts that include student reactions and topics related to what has been discussed in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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What Browser - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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The tagline, says it all: "World, meet your browser." Use this site to identify the browser you are using, learn specific features and how it works, and identify useful tweaks. ...more
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The tagline, says it all: "World, meet your browser." Use this site to identify the browser you are using, learn specific features and how it works, and identify useful tweaks. Click on "Try a new browser" to view other browser options to identify the differences, understand the uses of browsers, and learn what exactly a web browser is.

tag(s): browser (6), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Students can use different browsers when starting class, visit this site, and learn specifics of their browsers. Consider a group of students each looking at a different browser and reporting back to the group about their specific browser. Alternatively, use a jigsaw approach by having student number off in their groups. Have each number 1 meet and work on a specific browser (and the same with the other members.) Students in the group work together to understand the browser and then report bac to their group about their specific browser.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Soungle - Southern Codes

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Royalty Free Sound Effects Library for Download by Soungle.com is a go-to resource to keep in your bookmarked favorites for easy, free downloads of sounds, and the best part ...more
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Royalty Free Sound Effects Library for Download by Soungle.com is a go-to resource to keep in your bookmarked favorites for easy, free downloads of sounds, and the best part is it is searchable! The sound effects are short, and there is no membership required. Cautionary advice would be to direct students to type in a search term and avoid clicking on word links which will actually lead away from the webpage.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): sound (100), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Try sharing this resource with students when they are creating podcasts, slideshows, and other media projects. This would also be great for performance groups such as drama clubs or musicals that need sound effects. Very creative students might like to actually tell a story through nothing but sound effects. Have them try making a "sound rebus" story on your class wiki, with words and sound links to tell what happens. Download sound effects and add them, worry-free, to projects or productions. Make sure students realize that "royalty free" does not dismiss the need to give proper credit for their source!

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Epic Decide - EpicDecide.com

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the ...more
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Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the majority. Test the tool by trying the Instant Demo. Enter the answer to the following: "What would you like to vote on" and "The best options are the most"... Include as many options as are necessary. Click create the vote. Send the URL to others to read the options and make a choice. Click Settings to choose to update the acceptance of nominations. Click Results to see choices people have made. Be sure to keep the results page bookmarked in your Favorites to view the results. Results are not saved within an account.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to make choices on activities in class, what students feel about certain aspects of history or current events, or any other question where you want to offer options and collect votes. Use in clubs and organizations in school. Poll a class at the start (on iTouches) to see how they would have handled a difficult issue in history or as part of homework, have them predict what will happen in the next chapter of the novel the class is reading. Have students use the decision maker in a role play activity such as deciding whether or not your state should secede from the Union in 1861.

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Google Swiffy - Google

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders ...more
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This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders a product that is very good, with a slightly larger file size than the original. This simple to use, one step solution provides an alternative for viewing Flash based ads and animations. This site is unable to convert files that contain audio.

tag(s): computers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to convert animations or other items needed in class to a file that students can view on their non-Flash devices such as iTouch or iPad.
 

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A Google a Day - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the ...more
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the structure that houses the ZIP code 10118?" and others are more complicated, such as "If you were a ferry passenger traveling from Continental Europe to the country with twice as many sheep as people, in what town would you most likely dock?" What a discussion starter for key words to use in THAT search! There is also an archive of questions you can get to by clicking on the colored numbers below the question of the day.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Use this after presenting some of the lessons from "Google Web Search for Educators" reviewed here. Once you've been through several of those lessons, why not use "A Google a Day" for a beginning of the class warm up or an end of the class exit activity. Once you've done this for a while, you might want to switch things up and have students write their own questions (related to curriculum, of course) to challenge their classmates.

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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Common Core Standards - Pearson Education, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards,...more
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards, math standards, and information on the transition to Common Core Curriculum. All but six states have adopted common Core standards and they will be transitioned into full use by 2014. Pearson currently employs several of the authors of common core curriculum. Free webinars offer information about introductions to common core, math and reading, and transitions into common core. Included on this site is a blog and parent information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Begin your transition in to the world of Common Core Curriculum by starting with great webinars and resources. The webinars are very informational and give great insight. Find ways to begin to align your own teaching by offering more rigor and challenge. Stay in touch with the latest blogs on Common Core Information.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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WordSift - Stanford University

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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