TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 8, 2020

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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OK2Ask: Transform Your Lesson Plans with Triple E and TeachersFirst Part 2 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from March 2020, opens in Adobe Connect. As you reflect on how you integrate technology into your instruction to support...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from March 2020, opens in Adobe Connect. As you reflect on how you integrate technology into your instruction to support curricular objectives, it is important to evaluate lesson effectiveness. Join us as we take a deeper dive into the Triple E Framework. We will provide strategies and tools to help you understand if technology implementation in your classroom impacts learning in a deep and meaningful way. Other frameworks help us understand connections between learning and technology, while the Triple E Framework helps us evaluate the effectiveness that technology use has on student achievement of their learning goals. Learn to analyze lesson plans and apply the Triple E Measurement tool to inform your practice to design and teach better lessons using technology. Participants will: 1. Understand how to use the Triple E rubric; 2. Explore technology integrated lesson plans; and 3. Plan for the use of technology in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): professional development (219)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adobe Spark Video Creator - Adobe Spark

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K to 12
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides,...more
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Create and share professional-looking videos with Adobe Spark's video creator. Follow the prompts to begin your creation using a story template or start from scratch. Add videos, slides, text, and more to your video. Easily rearrange, change themes, and add components until satisfied. When finished, publish your video to share or download it to your computer.

tag(s): digital storytelling (148), multimedia (52), video (272)

In the Classroom

Consider using videos in your classroom in a variety of ways. Upload your slide presentations and add audio to create flipped and blended learning experiences for your students. Ask students to create videos as an alternative to book reports or written presentations. Share videos on your class website for students to access when away from the classroom. As you ask students to create videos, use a bookmarking site such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share and organize information for students to use when researching. Include Adobe Spark Videos as part of a larger presentation using Book Creator, reviewed here. Embed your video along with images, text, drawings, and other media into your digital book creation. Book Creator is a Chrome app.

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Google Drawings - Google

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K to 12
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Google Drawings is a collaborative drawing tool included with your Google Drive account. This link will take you to the basic tool where you can make an original drawing. If ...more
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Google Drawings is a collaborative drawing tool included with your Google Drive account. This link will take you to the basic tool where you can make an original drawing. If you wish to use a template, select "file" from the top menu, "new," and then choose a Google Drawings template. Use the tools found on the site to add shapes, lines, text, and more. Import images from your drive or save Creative Commons images for use. Use the share option to send the links to others to edit (be sure that your settings allow others with the link to edit the document). To view the revision history for any drawing, select "file" and "see the revision history." Images automatically save to your Google Drive and can be downloaded to your computer by saving in a variety of formats, including JPG, PDF, and PNG. Use the publish option to create an embed code and embed it into your website.

tag(s): collaboration (64), drawing (75), images (276)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this easy to use tool for a variety of classroom uses. Upload images and use the text tool to add digital annotations. Ask students to add digital annotations to images, for example, different landforms or to share as an assessment. Use the shape tool to create quick and easy timelines. This is perfect for use as a quick activity on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to help students understand the sequence of a story or a timeline of historic events. Create graphic organizers and mind maps easily by using the shapes tools, drawing lines, and adding text with links to additional information. When working on group projects, suggest students collaborate together to create and annotate images to include with a final multimedia presentation. Use Google Drawings to easily create infographics to share information on any topic.

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Twitter Chat: Engage, Enhance, Extend: Creating Authentic Lessons - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from October 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Engage, Enhance, Extend: Creating Authentic Lessons. Through this chat, ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from October 2018 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is - Engage, Enhance, Extend: Creating Authentic Lessons. Through this chat, participants will: 1. Explore the main components of the Triple E Framework, 2.Discuss ways to integrate technology into lessons successfully, and 3. Share resources to leverage authentic engagement in the classroom. Find great tools and resources to integrate technology into your lessons while keeping the focus on learning goals through the understanding of the Triple E Framework.

tag(s): twitterchatarchive (83)

In the Classroom

Find tools and resources to create authentic lessons that focus on the learning goal and integration of appropriate technology. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information related to the Triple E Framework and technology integration. Explore the various tools that are shared.

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Semantris - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Semantris is an engaging pair of word association games offered as a Google experiment in predicting the use of words by players. Arcade is a quick-thinking game; write a word ...more
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Semantris is an engaging pair of word association games offered as a Google experiment in predicting the use of words by players. Arcade is a quick-thinking game; write a word associated with the shared selection to drop words to the bottom of a list as quickly as possible. Block is a slower paced game; try to provide a short phrase to describe one of the words in the blocks to drop the blocks and prevent them from reaching the top of the page.

tag(s): game based learning (153), logic (248), puzzles (202), vocabulary (300), vocabulary development (116), word study (74)

In the Classroom

Share Semantris with students on classroom computers or devices for use as a quick word association and vocabulary building activity. Challenge students to become more proficient in "beating" Google by earning as many points as possible. For younger students, this site is an excellent way to build vocabulary skills. Have older students take this site a step further and research how machine learning works through this Google activity. Enhance learning by asking them to substitute a traditional report or presentation by making a video explanation tool like Biteable, reviewed here, to describe the concept of machine learning. After spending some time practicing this game, take it a step further and extend student learning by having students create their own vocabulary learning game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.

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Anchor - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to Anchor podcasts shared on the site by Anchor members.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), podcasts (62)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage an extend learning and have student create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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Banzai! - Banzai.com

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2 to 12
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Teach real-world financial literacy using Banzai! Learn to prioritize spending by using simulations, interactives, and "choose-your-own-adventure" style situations. There are three...more
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Teach real-world financial literacy using Banzai! Learn to prioritize spending by using simulations, interactives, and "choose-your-own-adventure" style situations. There are three levels: Banzai Jr (ages 8-12), Banzai Teen (ages 13-18), and Banzai Plus for adults. Start the course with a pre-test to determine your financial literacy. Then engage in real-life interactive situations covering balancing a budget and paying your cell phone bill, to paying for unexpected bills like car trouble. Student accounts receive free access to Banzai for life, allowing the opportunity to go back and review lessons at any time. After creating a teacher account, request the opportunity to receive the Life Scenario booklets for your class at no charge (this is dependent on funding from local financial organizations). If not available, print the booklets using the PDF download.

tag(s): financial literacy (109), game based learning (153)

In the Classroom

Banzai is an excellent resource for any financial literacy course, or for those that don't have financial literacy classes as an option for your school. Create your classroom account, and then provide students with a class code to sign in to their account. Create as many classes as you like then have students follow the curriculum including pre-tests, simulations of life scenarios, interactives, and post-tests. The Banzai tool grades it all. Set up student accounts and assign activities based on your state standards. Be sure to share Banzai on your class website for students to explore at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (31), presidents (130), virginia (17), virtual field trips (66)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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MathGames - TeachMe, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills....more
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills. Other options allow users to choose by grade level standards. Registration isn't necessary to play individual games; however, enrollment as a teacher provides additional features. Input your class to receive detailed progress reports as well as leaderboards and student competitions.

tag(s): addition (226), charts and graphs (205), DAT device agnostic tool (170), differentiation (57), division (160), equations (156), estimation (47), fractions (233), game based learning (153), geometric shapes (173), measurement (179), mental math (27), multiples (31), multiplication (210), patterns (89), preK (283), ratios (67), statistics (134), subtraction (188), time (138)

In the Classroom

MathGames is perfect for practice with many different math concepts. Include a link to games on your class website or classroom computers. Be sure to share games with parents for play at home. Take advantage of the free registration to register your class to follow student progress and challenge students to increase scores. Ask students to write blog entries replacing pen and paper and sharing their learning and understanding for each game using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Take this a step further enhance students' learning by to picking the game they learned the most from and make a feature video about it using Biteable, reviewed here. Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. If you teach using Common Core Standards, this site is excellent for finding practice activities aligned to the standards. Measure student growth for Common Core Standards using Edulastic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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edpuzzle - EDPuzzle

Grades
K to 12
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in edpuzzle even if ...more
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in edpuzzle even if your school filters block them! Search for educational videos from sites such as Khan Academy and Learn Zillion. Use the sliders to choose the section of the video, then insert your own voice or comment on the video. Create a series of questions to go along with your chosen video and insert them into the correct part of the video. There is no need for students to watch the whole video to access the questions at the end. Follow the on screen directions for chopping the video for the section you need, adding your own voice, and choosing where to add text based questions. Create a class and then add students into the class either in the dashboard or after creating the video. Use student codes to access the video. There is a 13 page guide available by clicking on FAQ and the last item which is "How can I help?" Next click on "Workshop." There is also a short demo video hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, simply find the video you want to use and embed it in edpuzzle. It will be viewable when used through edpuzzle!

tag(s): assessment (127), DAT device agnostic tool (170), questioning (38), video (272)

In the Classroom

Create short review videos or use your own narration with chosen videos to create flipped or blended lessons for your students. Consider the power of students using edpuzzle to annotate videos in order to explain the material in their own words. You or your students can use the tool to create and narrate "how to" videos. Annotate by highlighting the significant features of videos through the creation of voice comments. Students can also create questions to play with each video. Be sure students create a script to read from before beginning their chosen video.

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UtellStory - utellstory.com

Grades
1 to 12
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UtellStory is a multimedia storytelling and sharing community. Easily create and share stories with audio, image, video, and words. Create an account using email information or login...more
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UtellStory is a multimedia storytelling and sharing community. Easily create and share stories with audio, image, video, and words. Create an account using email information or login with Facebook to begin. Upload slide(s) from your computer, create a text slide, or insert YouTube or Vimeo video links. Free accounts may make up to 24 slides. Arrange slides in your preferred order after upload. Add background audio or change background style. Record your own audio for each slide or choose from existing mp3 files on your computer. Insert when finished. Audio in the free version is up to 30 seconds per slide. Preview and make changes as desired. Save to your account and return if not finished. When complete, choose from publish as a story or publish as a topic. Publish as a topic allows others to share and add to the story. Share your story using your custom URL, embed it into your website or blog using the code provided, or share it using social media buttons provided. This site could be used with all ages. However, with younger students, an adult would need to offer a lot of support. At the time of this review, all of the stories on the homepage were "kid-appropriate." However, be sure to preview before you share! The educator tools for managing student registrations are not free.

tag(s): digital storytelling (148), images (276), multimedia (52), slides (53)

In the Classroom

UtellStory is a great way to enhance students' learning to create and share short stories about things that they photograph. Have students take pictures during field trips to use in a UtellStory report about what they saw and learned on the trip. Photograph steps of a science experiment. Or have students search for Creative Commons and Public Domain images to use as part of an audio slideshow biography about a notable person in history or tell the story of the water cycle or other process. Try using 4 Free Photos, reviewed here, or Compfight, reviewed here, to find free images. Create a UtellStory to use for review of classroom topics or to demonstrate how to perform different steps in a math problem. Have students enhance their learning and create UtellStory presentations by using the multimedia features demonstrating learning in any subject area such as Civil War Events, different characteristics of animals, etc. Create a UtellStory for your elementary classroom: upload a picture that each student has drawn and have students narrate the picture in their own words.

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Skype in the Classroom - Microsoft and Skype Limited

Grades
K to 12
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Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms and various projects with this great site. Use ...more
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Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms and various projects with this great site. Use this free site to look through projects, tips from other teachers, and find other teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. Create a profile including your interests and the age, subject, languages, and more information about students. Scroll down the page to see the collaborative project link and find projects, classes, teachers, or speakers. Search the project link by authors, age range of students, language, subject, and more.

tag(s): colonial america (109), constitution (93), Microsoft (70), philadelphia (13), skype (9)

In the Classroom

To browse the activities, no special skills are required. If you plan to create your own activity, a Skype account is necessary. Use your Skype login to use this site. Be sure to check with school authorities before scheduling or using Skype with students. Be sure the Acceptable Use Policy covers the use of such tools. Spend time discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students prior to using Skype or participating in many of the projects found on this site.

Browse through the projects link to find ideas, tips from other teachers, and to find teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. You can search the project ideas by project, age range, language, subject, tags, and more. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom at this valuable website.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
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Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You ...more
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Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, columns for sorting or refining organization, and more. You can return to add more later. Installing Padlet Mini in your browser allows you to add the page you are browsing to your Padlet and gives you a shortcut to view your Padlets. Settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). Free accounts allow you to make 3 Padlets that include search, themes, stats, premium wallpapers, and cross-device support for uploaded videos. You can always delete an old Padlet to make a new one. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), DAT device agnostic tool (170), images (276)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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Quizlet: The End of Flashcards - Brainflare: Andrew Sutherland

Grades
3 to 12
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study...more
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study in any language or a content area. Students may choose to create study sets, electronic tests, or the networking page allows them to interact and learn with others who have the same words. Teachers or students can create groups to share word lists. Use this tool from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. The iOS and Android apps practice tests can be multiple choice, true/false, or written questions. Turn on "Instant Feedback" (new feature for the apps) that will give real-time feedback on right/wrong answers as you go; or wait and get your score at the end. As wonderful as this technology is, the coolest thing about Quizlet might be in its history--its creator was a high school student who tells his inspiring story and shares his blog through links at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), flash cards (41), quiz (76), spelling (166), vocabulary (300), word study (74)

In the Classroom

Membership asks for an email. Email allows you to notify others that you want to share a word list or activity with them. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. KEEP A LIST of students usernames (non-identifying) and passwords, incase they forget them! If you already use Google Classroom with your students, it only takes a few minutes to get them set up with a Quizlet Class.

Quizlet has a very thorough "Help Center" to get the idea of how the site works. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be entirely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." The new version of "study sets" allows you to scan your notes with your phone or tablet and create study sets designed for your specific needs. You can now highlight main ideas, underline key concepts and bold important study terms to create custom content. Create your own groups for each class or subject. Be sure to note the fact that you can upload vocabulary lists by copy/pasting from various formats--- a time real saver! Use this tool easily in your BYOD classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Content and English teachers may set up their personal network of users. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own Quizlet sets and help learn them in the process! Teachers may create your own sets of words, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Use the interactive whiteboard for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets. World language and ESL/ELL teachers will find many word sets already built and ready to use at this site. If you team teach with others at your grade level, take turns making the online Quizlets to accompany your science or social studies chapters. Be SURE to share this tool on your teacher web page for students to use at home.

Be sure to see the classroom quiz game for groups, Quizlet Live (from the creator of Quizlet), reviewed here.

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