Examples of ways to differentiate instruction

TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).

 

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Answerables - Nexed

Grades
K to 8
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students,...more
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students, create events and assignments, and provide feedback. This site features the use of a token system representing web URL's used by students. Be sure to check out the explanatory video demonstrating all features available within Answerables. Free accounts provide access for single users.

tag(s): classroom management (153), game based learning (116)

In the Classroom

All subject area teachers can benefit from making Answerables your digital library available from anywhere and anytime for you and your students. Store and organize links to websites, videos, and more for your students. Use PODS on this site to differentiate learning for students. Share student's digital work in this secure environment with parents and peers.

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OneHistory - Hilary Mac Austin and Kathleen Thompson

Grades
6 to 12
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through...more
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through reading history and visual history. Be sure to check out the teacher feature index containing tips for teaching through photographs and links to great speeches and documents.

tag(s): 1800s (48), 1900s (37), african american (113), biographies (91), cross cultural understanding (120), essays (22), great depression (26), primary sources (93), speeches (18)

In the Classroom

Bookmark OneHistory as a resource for primary sources when teaching American History and as an excellent tool for finding information featuring diversity throughout the years. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here, to tell the story of a moment in history. Voicethread allows you to add narration to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Take advantage of the high interest, low readability level stories on the site to differentiate for the variety of reading levels in your classroom and to include informational (nonfiction) reading standards.

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TeachersFirst's Math Resources for Algebra - Grade 6-8 - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 8
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your ...more
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom. Find tools to use in pre-algebra and algebra class.

tag(s): data (153), number lines (29), order of operations (40), percent (83), pi (27)

In the Classroom

Introduce these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate for students in pre-algebra and algebra.

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TeachersFirst's Math Resources for Algebra - Grades 9-12 - TeachersFirst

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics ...more
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom.

tag(s): data (153), number lines (29), percent (83), pi (27), quadratics (34), ratios (58)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate.

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TeachersFirst's Math Resources for Numbers & Operations - Grades 3-5 - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would be useful on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Topics include operations, fractions, decimals, order of operations, and more.

tag(s): decimals (131), division (168), fractions (234), multiplication (222), operations (126), order of operations (40)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class. Share the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement.

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SMMRY - smmry.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text ...more
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text box, upload a PDF file or paste a URL to begin. Choose the number of sentences for the summary, then click the summarize box and view your summary.

tag(s): summarizing (15)

In the Classroom

Introduce SMMRY to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use SMMRY summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.

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OpenStax - Rice University

Grades
9 to 12
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format....more
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format. The search options in the online viewer allow users to locate content easily in the digital format.

tag(s): advanced placement (24), book lists (133), ebooks (43), STEM (156)

In the Classroom

Use OpenStax textbooks to dig deeper into core subjects such as math, science, and social studies. Use materials to differentiate instruction based on student abilities and interests. If your current textbooks are older, find newer books on OpenStax and adopt them for your curriculum. Take advantage of the search feature of online books to find supplemental material for your current instruction. Find teaching materials for gifted students using OpenStax textbooks.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OpenEd - OpenEd

Grades
K to 12
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OpenEd claims to be the world's largest online library of free education resources - videos, lesson plans, assessments, games, and more. Search with a keyword and filter by grade, subject,...more
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OpenEd claims to be the world's largest online library of free education resources - videos, lesson plans, assessments, games, and more. Search with a keyword and filter by grade, subject, standard, resource type, or publisher. Save for later use, or assign to all students or just a few. There are several ways to register students: manually with email and password, give them a code, or upload students from Google Classroom or Edmodo. In the assessment area, a convenient feature is the ability for the teacher to assign videos to the student for review if they answered questions incorrectly. Then the student can try again. Both instructors and students can sign up with email and passwords or social media such as Google and Edmodo. Some videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (108), classroom management (153), multimedia (62), slides (64), video (275)

In the Classroom

With 90% of the million resources free, you're sure to find something you need to supplement current curriculum materials. This site could also be used as a learning center or station during any unit or for review. Use activities from this site to differentiate learning within your classroom. Try flipping class and assign videos, slides or lessons to be completed at home and have a discussion (or question and answer session) about them the next day in class. Include this site on the class website for parents to find at-home math, language arts, science projects, and materials for review. Be sure to share with other teachers on campus.

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The Lowdown - KQED News

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using...more
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using a keyword or choose links to find lesson plans, interactives, and videos. Many features include alignment to Common Core Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): commoncore (95), journalism (54), multimedia (62), news (264), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals with this very people-friendly site: provide quality non-fiction reading materials and the latest in current events. Use this site to differentiate reading materials by student interest. Encourage students to explore the site on their own. Be sure to include a link on classroom computers and your class website for students to access at any time. Flip your class and assign the reading to do at home. Then, have students create a simple infographic sharing findings from The Lowdown with their classmates using Piktochart, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create weekly podcasts with news from around the world. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading Friend - Anne Elizabeth Eaves

Grades
K to 3
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog...more
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog listing, or search by keyword. Words are highlighted as the narrator reads. Most, but not all, content is friendly on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (107), poetry (225), preK (292), reading lists (79), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use Reading Friend to find and differentiate literacy activities for students. Share links to books and activities on classroom computers for student use as centers. Include a link to activities on your class web page for use at home. Many of the stories and poems will help resource and ELL/ESL students who need to hear word families, phonetics, and such.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Game-Based Learning - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning. Engage your students in the way they love to learn - games! Explore resources for quick practice or create your own games using these tools. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity.

tag(s): coding (53), differentiation (49), game based learning (116), gamification (77), logic (243)

In the Classroom

Share these tools on your class website or blog for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Use these tools to differentiate and reach all students at the various levels. Challenge your students to create their own games for review of content or acceleration options.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (65), coding (53), critical thinking (112), digital storytelling (152), gamification (77), musical notation (38), problem solving (277), social media (21), sports (98), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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Wordie - ABCD English

Grades
2 to 12
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in ...more
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in text in the provided box. Use up to 1500 characters without registering. Register for free using your email to use unlimited characters. Choose the reading level you want to assign to the text, then click submit. Wordie analyzes the text and provides two boxes with word banks. The first includes vocabulary applicable to the reading level you input, the second displays words above that level. Uncheck any boxes next to words you prefer not to include as vocabulary. Use the Print Preview to create a printable, including the entire text with vocabulary to learn in a featured word box.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a useful tool for teaching vocabulary from any text. Copy portions of literature into Wordie to identify and create vocabulary lists for students. Differentiate for student abilities based on reading levels. Use Wordie to develop student writing skills. Ask them to copy their writing into Wordie and run the analysis at a reading level you prefer. If there isn't enough new vocabulary words, challenge students to rewrite in a way that reaches a higher reading level. Use Wordie with ESL/ELL learners to point out difficult vocabulary in reading passages before reading.
 

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Symbaloo Lesson Plans - Symbaloo

Grades
K to 12
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson...more
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson plans. Log in to your Symbaloo account and browse the Marketplace for already created lessons, or begin creating your own. Add websites, PDF's, videos, and more onto tiles and create a game board and learning path. Follow prompts to add items to the lesson and publish when complete. Symbaloo Lesson Plans also provides analytics after assigning lessons to view student progress and a calendar option to make lessons available during a chosen time frame.

tag(s): bookmarks (65), DAT device agnostic tool (173), game based learning (116), gamification (77)

In the Classroom

You will want to use Symbaloo Lesson Plans for many different types of classroom instruction! Create lesson plans to differentiate learning and assign based on student needs and interests. Embed a lesson on your class website for students to complete at home. Using this site allows you to create a clear and concise learning path for any lesson. Share it on an interactive whiteboard with students as you follow through any learning path. Be sure also to include a link to the lesson on your class website for students to use throughout the unit and as a review. Use Symbaloo Lesson Plans as enrichment for independent learning for advanced students, or for remediation with students needing additional help. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students - include links and activities to resources in their native language or add tools for practicing English. There are too many uses for Symbaloo Lesson Plans to include here, be sure to take the time to learn how to create and use this wonderful tool with your students!

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StoryBots - JibJab Bros Studio

Grades
K to 2
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StoryBots is a collection of classroom learning tools for pre-K and kindergarten children, their parents, and teachers. There are plenty of free videos and activity sheets to use without...more
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StoryBots is a collection of classroom learning tools for pre-K and kindergarten children, their parents, and teachers. There are plenty of free videos and activity sheets to use without registration. Register to create an online classroom and assign learning materials to individuals, small groups, or your whole class. Assign videos or games aligned to Common Core Standards. Upload your own lessons or assign StoryBots' lessons teaching math and reading skills. Share your class code with parents for at-home use.

tag(s): commoncore (95), preK (292)

In the Classroom

Create your class account, share your class code with parents, and ask them to register their child for your class. Assign lessons and activities to individual students or groups to differentiate instruction. Include a link on classroom computers for center use. Take advantage of the opportunity to upload your own lessons to supplement the learning materials available at StoryBots.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Termling - Salvador

Grades
6 to 12
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Earn rewards for studying with Termling. This free interactive combines role-playing elements with study activities to assist students in learning vocabulary and terms with flashcards,...more
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Earn rewards for studying with Termling. This free interactive combines role-playing elements with study activities to assist students in learning vocabulary and terms with flashcards, quizzes, and other study activities. Create your Termling avatar and enroll to start using the site's tools. Earn additional features through gameplay. Once enrolled, use options to find or create your own study sets and invite other members to be Study Buddies. Educators can personalize study sets to assign to students and monitor progress.

tag(s): flash cards (47), game based learning (116), gamification (77), quizzes (100), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Introduce Termling to your class and demonstrate the different features available. Create study materials for individuals to differentiate learning. Have students set up and share their own study materials. Show students how to read carefully through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets as a follow-up activity to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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GooseChase - Andrew Cross

Grades
3 to 12
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Organize and run a scavenger hunt with GooseChase! Sign up for an account to begin creating games. Add your own missions to games or use missions available on the site. ...more
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Organize and run a scavenger hunt with GooseChase! Sign up for an account to begin creating games. Add your own missions to games or use missions available on the site. Determine point values for completion and optional links or images to provide additional information. Choose to allow participants to submit validation of completion through photos or videos that you can see in real-time. Once your game is set up (using any computer or device with Internet access), invite participants to begin play through a mobile device. Download the free apps for any mobile device through the Google Play Store or iTunes. GooseChase now has free basic plans for teachers where you can have unlimited games and classes and even a team game.

tag(s): creativity (120), DAT device agnostic tool (173), game based learning (116), gamification (77)

In the Classroom

Use GooseChase in your classroom as part of your project based learning activities. Assign a series of activities to groups for completion. Differentiate projects based on student interest and ability. Use one of the many educational games already in the library to see great examples of how to use GooseChase for any subject area. GooseChase would be an excellent addition to staff meetings. Have participants locate information on websites, textbooks, or throughout your school as part of professional development. Create a GooseChase for students as part of a nature walk outside of your school, ask younger students to find different geometric shapes, or have students draw pictures of main characters in books as part of a GooseChase mission.

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Study Jams - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Study Jam offers engaging instruction and review activities in both math and science. Some sample science topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter, and more....more
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Study Jam offers engaging instruction and review activities in both math and science. Some sample science topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter, and more. Math topics include numbers (place value, number lines, estimation), algebra, addition/subtraction, problem solving, and others. Don't miss the "Jams" sure to excite your students to learn new skills in a musical and entertaining manner. Key vocabulary is presented along with a short video explanation of each topic. In addition to the video, there is an option to test your own ability. Each topic can also be printed to use in the classroom and there is a link to related "jams."

tag(s): addition (239), animals (291), climate (91), decimals (131), differentiation (49), division (168), ecosystems (83), energy (203), estimation (47), forces (45), fractions (234), game based learning (116), human body (130), landforms (47), light (49), matter (59), measurement (160), minerals (17), multiplication (222), number lines (29), percent (83), place value (55), plants (156), probability (133), problem solving (277), rocks (50), solar system (121), sound (105), subtraction (198), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Excite your students with the Jams! Share the Jam videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students sing along and learn more about science and math. Especially younger students will enjoy this feature. Create a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use for review and practice at home. Use the many topics available to differentiate for all students in your classroom. Create learning centers using this site or use it in on individual laptops. Print out the quizzes for students to take as an assessment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

tag(s): classroom management (153), differentiation (49), game based learning (116), professional development (158)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this excellent resource to use when looking for new ideas for your classroom. Choose from ideas such as "Hands up if you DON'T know" or "Sock puppets in the secondary classroom" to inspire and motivate your students. Look to this blog to differentiate for students of all levels. Divide students into cooperative learning groups using different ideas found on Tarr's Toolbox.

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Highbrow - Artem Zavyalov & Jane Limanskaya

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course ...more
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Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course is completed in ten days making learning quick and easy! Choose from many different course options in subjects such as art, literature, and history. Highbrow only allows one course per user at a time to encourage complete focus on each topic. If you don't see what you like, choose the Create Course option and create your own learning experience using your expertise!

tag(s): 20th century (53), architecture (83), authors (122), business (58), differentiation (49), endangered species (40), equations (154), financial literacy (80), greeks (31), human body (130), inventors and inventions (96), logic (243), medicine (70), mental math (29), numbers (203), photography (161), poetry (225), psychology (66), short stories (25), surrealism (4), weather (198), women (92)

In the Classroom

Highbrow is perfect for differentiated learning. Allow students to choose their own topic and sign up for a course. When complete, choose another topic and start a new course. Have students create commercials for finished courses using Powtoon, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a course after a unit of study as a final assessment. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for personal use.

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