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From Greece to Main Street - Kennedy Center

Grades
5 to 8
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements...more
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Introduce characteristics of Greek architecture with this lesson plan that draws comparisons between The Lincoln Memorial and the Parthenon, then challenges students to identify elements of Greek architecture within their own communities. Nice opportunity for a low-cost, high impact field trip! Downloadable worksheets, standards, detailed activity instructions, and an assessment rubric are provided. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): architecture (83), greece (26), greek (41), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this ready-to-go lesson plan with your students. Share the visual interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner to research other famous monuments and present multi-media presentations to the class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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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 (107), colonization (16), handwriting (18), williamsburg (12), writing (358)

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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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), civil rights (117), grammar (216), listening (91), medieval (27), poetry (227), renaissance (34), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Goes to War - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
7 to 12
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students...more
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students become part of the decision-making process as they consider the critical issues that faced the nation as Lincoln came into office, debate the risks and benefits of withdrawing Union troops from Fort Sumter, and investigate the Confederate reaction to Lincoln's ultimate decision. Students take on the roles of Secessionists, Non-Secessionists, Unionists, Abolitionists, or Compromise Proponents. This lesson is aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (163)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go and offers step by step instructions! Divide your class into five groups (based on the roles listed above). Allow them time to research and prepare for the debate. Consider having students tape the debate using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Why not have each group (or student) write a blog defending their position (role).

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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Speechwriting - Karen Finney & Lou Giansante

Grades
5 to 8
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This is a great site to introduce kids to speechwriting. While it is really geared to the middle school level, there are some great ideas for walking all levels of ...more
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This is a great site to introduce kids to speechwriting. While it is really geared to the middle school level, there are some great ideas for walking all levels of students through the process step-by-step . If you have never taught speechwriting, this helps the kids see that writing a speech is not like writing an essay.

Be aware: a Scholastic Word Wizard box appears on the screen, click the minus sign to shrink the box. Then drag the box to the top of the screen. It will still be there, but it shouldn't interfere with your reading of the text. This site requires Real Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): speech (92), writing (358)

In the Classroom

If you have students who need word support (spelling or vocabulary), the Word Wizard Box might be helpful. This is also a site that students could work on in a writing lab as they develop their own speeches with teacher supervision. Because the pages are sequential and refer back to each other, they can work at their own pace. Have students tape their speeches and share the videos on YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).

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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 (20), estimation (46), literature (275), mass (23), measurement (159), money (193), probability (130), sorting (10), spelling (168), volume (45), writing (358)

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 (147), idioms (44), sight words (37), vocabulary (324)

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 (78), journals (21), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

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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Persuasive Writing, Speaking, & Activities - Kathleen Prody and Jean O'Connor

Grades
7 to 12
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Created in 2001, this website has links that are no longer active. However, enough links are active (including the key explanations), that this site is worth a look. The key ...more
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Created in 2001, this website has links that are no longer active. However, enough links are active (including the key explanations), that this site is worth a look. The key information regarding what constitutes argumentative debate vs. simple reporting is valuable and includes the classic breakdown of logos, ethos, and pathos for higher level students to consider. The R.A.F.T. examples given are good for teachers to use as well as some sample prompts from the 2001 ACT. Sample links plus one to Paradigm online writing lab make this a worthwhile site.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), speech (92), writing (358)

In the Classroom

This site would best be used by a teacher working with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector to review key elements of persuasive writing. The inactive links might prove frustrating for students, but you can check them ahead of time. Once students know which links are active, you can use them to assign students various aspects of rhetorical debate and create argumentative theses based on each appeal. Share some of these resources on your teacher web page as you engage students in a real world task such as writing to persuade local politicians on a hot issue.

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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 (88), images (265)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (193), russian (26), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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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 (88), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

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
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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 ...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 (358)

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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Submit a Caption - Scholastic News

Grades
1 to 8
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This simple site displays a weekly picture or photo. Students are challenged to submit a caption to Scholastic (first name and last initial are required to participate). They ask for...more
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This simple site displays a weekly picture or photo. Students are challenged to submit a caption to Scholastic (first name and last initial are required to participate). They ask for your state and age (ages 6-13), but you are not required to input this information to participate. You are also able to go back and see previous pictures and captions from the week before. The "top picks" are displayed weekly.

tag(s): writing (358)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site to project using your interactive whiteboard or projection screen. Have students write a story about the picture, and what is happening. Or teach your class about captions, and have each student submit their own caption to Scholastic (possibly using fictional name). If you are teaching about advertising, have students create commercials about the picture. While learning about the news media, have your class create a news broadcast about the photo. Share the news broadcast with families using a site such as TeacherTube (explained here). There are many possibilities at this "kid-friendly" website. Or use this site as a model for your own picture captioning activity, created by your students. Let students take digital pictures and post them on your class blog or wiki for others to add captions or brief stories. Exchange the blog or wiki address with a distant class for them to "join" your class, too.

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8th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
7 to 9
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject...more
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several topics. The topics vary greatly and include measuring angles, multiplying decimals, the human body (skeleton, heart, muscles), vertebrates and invertebrates, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and some language arts topics (writing topic sentences, using figurative language, analogies, writing about cause and effect, and several others). Be aware: some of the language arts topics lead you to another educational site and are not as simple to use as in other subject areas. The language arts link is under construction and several are currently unavailable.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive (some are simple online quizzes), they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. There are also interactive diagrams and more. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), decimals (133), figurative language (16), heart (42), lincoln (86), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity, depending on the subject matter. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pixlr - Pixlr

Grades
2 to 12
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This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged ...more
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This free, beta site is a useful photo editing service. Edited pictures are saved on the computer and are not public for viewing. Use this site to create montaged images, resize photos for emailing or use on wikis, etc, or simply because your camera files are too big to store.

tag(s): editing (60)

In the Classroom

Know how to browse to find files saved on your computer and be willing to "play" with the tools and menus, if you are unfamiliar with photo-editors.

Click Jump In to access Photoshop-type tools. Select an image saved on your computer or your desktop or create a new one. Currently, pictures cannot be accessed from online photo storage sites. The top menu contains almost any option the average user would need to edit and manipulate pictures. The menu is easy to navigate and read. Help is minimal at this time. The site is easy to use, and users of other paint and editing applications will be at ease using this site. Students will love the filter options for altering pictures. Multiple images can be edited or "montaged." When editing is complete, save the image by specifying an image name and file type (JPEG or PNG). Click "OK," and the file will be downloaded to your machine. The simple interface and fast site makes this a great editing application to try.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

Keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access any time!

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Daily Writing Tips - Daniel Scocco, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover a simple, yet sophisticated blog about all things related to writing. The information is presented as text only (nothing visual or slick), but it is helpful, especially as...more
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Discover a simple, yet sophisticated blog about all things related to writing. The information is presented as text only (nothing visual or slick), but it is helpful, especially as a reference or guide to improving your writing. The variety of tips offered is perfect whether you need help or are simply curious. The list in the left column offers the archived articles on everything from business writing, fiction writing, and writing basics to misused words, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This is a great site for information both students and adults can use in their writing.

tag(s): creative writing (166), expository writing (44), grammar (216), process writing (42), punctuation (43), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Focus on the topics that repeatedly occur in a student's writing by sharing a link to the topic they need most right now. The Misused Words and Expressions sections are especially helpful for explaining how to correct for cliches, etc. As always, the timing of seeing the tip matters most. Share it when you see the problem. Encourage students doing peer editing or collaborative revision to use this site and find the tip to help a classmate when something "sounds funny." That way every writer in your class can become an expert in supporting other writers, not just you, the writing guru/teacher! While learning centers are generally considered an elementary tool, they can be exciting and valuable for secondary students as well. Use sections of this site as the focus for different writing centers. The links from this site can help students move through areas where they are having difficulty and enjoy the process of interaction as well. Have them create a clever writing tip video or a quick podcast about the tip that resonated with them personally. Try Spreaker, reviewed here. Collect links to the tip videos or podcasts on a class writing wiki. Teachers will also find this reference useful as a writer of graduate papers or newsletters for parents.

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ABC's of the Writing Process - A.E. Lipkewich and R. Mazurenko

Grades
6 to 9
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This is an attractive and simple site for students to work through the writing process. It walks through the prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing steps, offering ideas...more
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This is an attractive and simple site for students to work through the writing process. It walks through the prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing steps, offering ideas at each one. Written in accordance with Canada's curriculum guidelines, it maintains step-by-step for students to work through the process individually. The revising section gives directions for "read-around groups" in which students can listen to and offer suggestions for each other's papers.

This site does have some advertisements. But the "meat" of the site is worth the distractions. Make sure your pop-up blocker is working!

Caution: On the publishing page are several options you will want to monitor. One of the options is "Club." This takes students to a page where they can "register" to chat with other students about the writing process. While it is free with a yahoo email address, this may not be the wisest use of student time. The other option is "Go Live" which gives students advice on how to submit work and gives them options for submitting to the website itself or to "English Online: Writer's Window." (The authors online link is nonfunctional.)

tag(s): editing (60), process writing (42), writing (358)

In the Classroom

When you have a varied group of writers, with some needing more help than others, this site is ideal. Students can work at their own pace or with students who are at the same stage of writing. Form small groups and assign each to the writing step appropriate for them. Perhaps create a class wiki where each group can generate a page with annotated examples of their "writing stage." While a few of the links do not work, nearly all do; just be sure to check before directing students there.

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