Online Tools: Suggestions from TeachersFirst

This editor's choice collection offers timesavers and organizational tools for teachers. They include "utility" sites for teaching tasks such as seating charts, rubrics, and certificates. Other tools facilitate parent communication, such as text messaging or online conferencing. Our editors have also hand picked simple, timesaving, creative tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. These tools organize to-do lists (for yourself or for students), convert files, remove ads from web pages, check web site readability, write a one-time blog, generate an online signup sheet, make a simple graphic organizer or chart, create online corkboards or stickies, and much more. Mark your Favorites using your free TeachersFirst membership, so you can find them quickly!

For a full listing of reviewed "creation" tools by category, try the TeachersFirst Edge, today's hottest tools for creating teacher and student projects online. 

 

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Gzaas! - Gzaaz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need to make a big, bold statement on your computer screen or whiteboard? Gzaas! will do it for you. Type your message, then Gzaas! it. After submitting your ...more
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Do you need to make a big, bold statement on your computer screen or whiteboard? Gzaas! will do it for you. Type your message, then Gzaas! it. After submitting your message, use the default look or choose from several options to customize your message. Change the background, text color, font, and more. Gzaas! allows you to use up to 40 characters in your text.

tag(s): graphic design (42), images (272), iwb (30)

In the Classroom

Although Gzaas! is a very simple site, it offers many opportunities for enhancing classroom instruction. Use Gzaas! to create a welcome message as students enter the classroom, share a motivational quote, provide starting instructions for the day's tasks, or to simply post sight words. Create a message introducing a new topic as a springboard for discussion. Leave a message on your interactive whiteboard during class work time with information needed for students to complete their task. Use Gzaas! as an exit ticket activity and have students create a message on their mobile device sharing something they learned as they leave class.

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Teacher Utilities Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Technology offers teachers many management tools for classroom procedures, communication, design of the classroom, and more. This collection highlights what we call "Teacher Utilities."...more
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Technology offers teachers many management tools for classroom procedures, communication, design of the classroom, and more. This collection highlights what we call "Teacher Utilities." These are any tools that make the job of the teacher slightly easier to manage. Some examples of tools in this collection include timers, learning management systems, lesson plan builders, classroom design tools, and many more. Remember our "In the Classroom" suggestions give you ideas about how to use these tools in your classroom.

tag(s): Teacher Utilities (86)

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try in your classroom, for communication with families and more. Each review includes classroom use ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will make your tasks easier to manage.

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Proficonf Video Conferencing - Proficonf Ltd.

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K to 12
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Do you need a safe online meeting site? Proficonf offers web-based conferencing without any downloads. Create your room, share the link, and begin your conference. After creating your...more
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Do you need a safe online meeting site? Proficonf offers web-based conferencing without any downloads. Create your room, share the link, and begin your conference. After creating your account, begin an event or schedule a time for a later meeting date. After allowing the site to access your camera and microphone, choose the link to share with invited participants. This site also includes a chat feature to turn on or off as desired. Other options allow screen sharing, an online whiteboard, and file uploads. Free accounts offer meeting times of up to 45 minutes with up to 25 participants.

tag(s): collaboration (55), parent conferences (23), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use Proficonf to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. Online conferencing is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Enhance classroom technology by sharing this tool with students to use when collaborating on group projects. If using the chat feature, ask them to include their chat with the final project as part of their reflection on the learning process.

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Twitter Chat: Online Learning: Turning it into Student Success - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2019 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Online Learning: Turning it into Student Success. During this chat, participants...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2019 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Online Learning: Turning it into Student Success. During this chat, participants will: 1. Define online learning and discuss its importance in K12 education, 2. Discuss the impact of students thriving with the ability to learn online, on-demand, and 3. Share resources and websites/apps that provide powerful learning experiences for students.

tag(s): Online Learning (7), resources (107), twitterchatarchive (51)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about online learning and how to integrate it into your lessons. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for resources related to online learning.

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Teleprompt.me - Corey Griffin

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3 to 12
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Use your computer's microphone to create an easy to use teleprompter with Teleprompt.me. Copy and paste your script to start with this very easy to use tool. Be sure to ...more
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Use your computer's microphone to create an easy to use teleprompter with Teleprompt.me. Copy and paste your script to start with this very easy to use tool. Be sure to allow the site to access your microphone, and that's it! Start reading your script and the words you speak fade in real time. Change the color of the text to suit your needs and adjust font size. Make a mistake? No problem, click restart to return to the beginning. Another option is to click on any word in your text, all portions of your text before that word fade away.

tag(s): fluency (24), speech (86)

In the Classroom

Telepromt.me is a great addition to any classroom and, will enhance your classroom technology use. Ask students to use this tool for presentations to make speeches more audience-friendly than looking down and reading from a paper script. Help struggling readers practice fluency and focus on individual words using this tool with any reading material. Help students listen to their own speech by asking them to record their reading using Telepromt.me and using Vocaroo, reviewed here, or a screen recording tool like Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here. Do your students create podcasts? If so, use this teleprompter when reading from scripted material used in podcasts. Anchor, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for creating and sharing your podcasts.
 

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OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from August 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones are teachers' favorites? This session will share and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite resources. Help us decide which tool is the session winner of our Smackdown! Participants will: 1. Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools; 2. Evaluate uses for one or more tools for classroom use; and 3. Share ideas for using resources with other participants. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

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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OK2Ask: Resource Roundup: Free Tools from the Edge - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from June 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Looking for new tech tools to use? Go to the Cutting Edge with TeachersFirst!...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from June 2018, opens in Adobe Connect. Looking for new tech tools to use? Go to the Cutting Edge with TeachersFirst! Discover tools you and your students can use to create images, timelines, whiteboards, mind maps, and more. Learn how this collection is categorized so you can explore the Edge on your own. Find inspiration and timesaving tools in this fast-paced session while learning classroom applications for these tools. Participants will: 1. Explore the Edge categories and tools available at TeachersFirst; 2. Prepare to plan and implement a student-centered, curriculum-related use of the resource(s) of choice as part of an upcoming teaching unit; and 3. Plan how to use one of the Edge tools for digital storytelling, communication, or creating study tools for your classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

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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Password Generator Tool - Comparitech

Grades
K to 12
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This safe and straightforward site creates unique passwords within your given parameters. Choose the length of your desired password and use the checked boxes to include or exclude...more
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This safe and straightforward site creates unique passwords within your given parameters. Choose the length of your desired password and use the checked boxes to include or exclude letters, characters, or numbers. Additional options allow you to select the number of numeric characters or symbols to add. After making your selections, click "Generate" to create your password. Additional information on the site explains why it is important to use strong passwords along with specific content on how a strong password looks.

tag(s): internet safety (122)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of any online safety unit. Discuss the importance of creating strong passwords. One disadvantage of using a site like this is trying to save and remember the unique passwords. Use information on this site to find free, online tools for saving and managing your passwords. As students learn more about online safety, modify classroom technology by asking them to share their tips using a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. Use Flipgrid to provide video questions to students with scenarios that might occur online due to lack of knowledge or application of safety techniques. Have students respond with solutions to these problems. Transform classroom technology and ask students to share their advice with other students using a video explanation tool like Rawshorts, reviewed here, to create short, animated video explanations.

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LOOPY - Nick Case

Grades
9 to 12
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LOOPY is a drawing tool for thinking in systems and experimenting with simulations. Play with examples of basic ecology, depression & anxiety, or automation & job loss to get a ...more
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LOOPY is a drawing tool for thinking in systems and experimenting with simulations. Play with examples of basic ecology, depression & anxiety, or automation & job loss to get a feel for the features of LOOPY. View tutorials for modifying existing models or create your own from scratch. When finished, share with the URL or embed code.

tag(s): drawing (73), gifted (79)

In the Classroom

Share LOOPY with students then have them explore the features included on the shared models. LOOPY would work well in classes with gifted students as an exploration project of different cause and effect relationship influences. Use the embed code to share student examples and explanations on your class website.

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Unio - Harness

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive online lessons including quizzes and polls with Unio. Create an account using your email address to begin. Upload images, PowerPoints, videos, PDF's, and more to...more
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Create interactive online lessons including quizzes and polls with Unio. Create an account using your email address to begin. Upload images, PowerPoints, videos, PDF's, and more to include in your slideshow. Follow the tutorials to learn how to edit information and add quizzes and polls. When ready, launch your lesson and share the join code with students for access. Students will see your screen and be able to save the lesson for access later. Teachers can monitor students in real time. Free accounts provide temporary student access (instead of student accounts) and storage of up to 5 lessons. The tutorials reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): book reports (34), classroom management (145), multimedia (52), social networking (94)

In the Classroom

Use Unio to create and prepare lessons for presentation on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. After providing the share code to students ask them to participate by answering quiz questions or use the drawing tools to highlight information shared in the lesson. Upon completion of your lesson using Unio, have students add a video response to share information learned using a collaborative tool like Flipgrid, reviewed here. Flipgrid allows students to respond to a prompt and add comments as part of a shared conversation within a group. Instead of a written report at the end of your lesson, ask students to create a Symbaloo Learning Path, reviewed here, to use for review. This site allows users to create a learning path by adding websites, videos, documents, and more.

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Duck Soup - Robert Boyett and Andrew McAfee

Grades
K to 12
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Is a paperless classroom your goal? Duck Soup is for you! Instead of making copies of papers to hand out and then grade, upload any PDF or Word document to ...more
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Is a paperless classroom your goal? Duck Soup is for you! Instead of making copies of papers to hand out and then grade, upload any PDF or Word document to your Duck Soup account to quickly turn it into an e-sheet gradable activity. Receive feedback in real time as students complete work. Duck Soup also offers the ability for students to "write" on documents as they would with pencil and paper. Options include setting times to submit responses, set number of retries for incorrect responses, and set values of questions. This site fully integrates with Google Drive making it a "must have" for any Google Classroom.

tag(s): classroom management (145), Google (43)

In the Classroom

Save time and paper using Duck Soup. Start out slowly, perhaps with one or two papers the first week. Choose a paper that is familiar to both you and your students and explore together how to use e-sheets and settings that work best for your classroom. Once familiar with the site, the possibilities are unlimited. Use Duck Soup for homework, centers, and ongoing projects. Instead of sending paperwork home to be completed by parents, create digital versions for quick response and compilation of information.

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Open Learning Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

Grades
6 to 12
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including...more
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including topics covered, estimated completion time, and software required. Classes are free for independent learning. Set up and teach your own course by registering for an instructor account. Instructor accounts allow members to access tools to assess student learning and provide credit for course completion.

tag(s): chinese (49), classroom management (145), design (88), engineering (129), french (85), logic (252), OER (26), Online Learning (7), probability (135), psychology (64), statistics (132), STEM (209)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of content in courses to supplement your current lessons. No registration is required to access and view course information. Share this site with gifted students or students with interests in specific academic areas not covered in your current curriculum. Create a course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field. The Open Learning Initiative would also be perfect for setting up directions and steps for any projects you require students to do for your class. The program will integrate with some learning management systems.

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eMargin - Birmingham City University

Grades
8 to 12
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Collaborate and annotate online using eMargin. Create an account using your email to get started. Begin annotating using text you upload from your computer, enter a URL, or copy and...more
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Collaborate and annotate online using eMargin. Create an account using your email to get started. Begin annotating using text you upload from your computer, enter a URL, or copy and paste text. Once text is available, use the dashboard to highlight with your choice of colors, add notes or tags, or search for specific words or phrases. Create groups to share and collaborate on annotations.

tag(s): note taking (42), questioning (38)

In the Classroom

eMargin is a great tool for you (or your students) to annotate research and information on the Internet or from personal documents. Create teacher annotations or question and answer comments on pages. Ask comprehension questions or guiding questions for places you send students on the web. Ask questions that students can complete as homework to show that they accessed the web resource assigned. This tool would also be a powerful way for students to point out bias on a web page or for art students to comment on images and design elements. Create writing prompts by adding questions or comments to a webpage and sharing it with students.

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Random Name/Word Picker - ClassTools

Grades
K to 12
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This random name or word picker tool offers two different methods for selecting names from a list. Enter each name or word on a different line, copy and paste from ...more
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This random name or word picker tool offers two different methods for selecting names from a list. Enter each name or word on a different line, copy and paste from a spreadsheet or word document if available. Choose the typewriter to view a scrambled word letter-by-letter. The fruit machine reveals a choice with a slot machine, choose the button Remove to delete used words from the list as you play.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (145), Teacher Utilities (86)

In the Classroom

The obvious use for this tool is for selecting students to answer a question or do an activity. Other uses could include forming groups/pairs or creating seating charts. Allow students to use it when it's time to choose the next student. Instead of names, enter activities for P.E., rainy day recess activities, the next book your class will read together, or anything where you need to make a choice. Enter vocabulary words and use the word picker to practice definitions, or have one student provide the definition for a selected word and other students guess the word.
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KQED Media Literacy Courses - KQED Teach

Grades
K to 12
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used...more
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used for each of the courses. Topics include Taking Charge of Social Media, Media Essentials, and Video Storytelling Essentials. Choose any course description to view what is included in the modules and lessons in addition to the length of time to complete. All courses include interaction with an online community to share and learn together.

tag(s): professional development (193)

In the Classroom

Gain a better understanding of media literacy tools by taking KQED's professional development courses. Participate in classes on your own or with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.

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Gamification Resources - 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 and use gamification in the classroom. Various subject areas are included...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about and use gamification in the classroom. Various subject areas are included in the collection. Explore online workshops to learn more about gamification. Find tools that you can use to gamify your classroom. Remember to start small with gamification and add more to your gamification "toolbox" as you are more comfortable.

tag(s): coding (76), game based learning (150), gamification (82), polls and surveys (49)

In the Classroom

Create your own games for review and classroom activities. As a final assessment, challenge students to create their own games to share with their peers. Use this collection to find the best gamification tools on the TeachersFirst site!

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Tolks - tolks.io

Grades
K to 12
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next,...more
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next, add dialogue, by deleting the text in the default box, then preview and edit or save. Simple! Share your Tolk using the URL or links to Facebook or Twitter.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147)

In the Classroom

For younger students, consider creating a class account for Tolks. Have students create Tolks to discuss literature, such as a conversation between characters or descriptions of feelings. Create Tolks to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector as lesson starters or display at the end of a lesson with characters discussing essential information from a lesson. Upload images of shapes and have students compare and contrast features. World language students can create simple conversations in the language they are learning or label pictures for vocabulary. You will find many uses for Tolks in your classroom! Counselors may want to have students create a Tolk to share information that may be difficult to discuss in person. Of course, be very careful not to share private information.

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MathScienceMusic - Theolonius Monk Institute of Jaz

Grades
K to 12
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration...more
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration with Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. Click letters on the homepage to begin your musical experience, then scroll down to view the available resources. Each group of resources includes a video introduction explaining the content. Some of the choices include Scratch Jazz (music and coding) and Groove Pizza (Shapes and Angles and Groove). All activities include a short description along with suggestions for appropriate grade level, concepts taught, and links to additional resources. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): angles (88), animation (61), brain (67), coding (76), fractions (232), geometric shapes (172), india (34), multiples (31), music theory (44), musical instruments (50), musical notation (37), numbers (191), patterns (89), preK (281), ratios (66), sound (106)

In the Classroom

Share activities from MathScienceMusic on your interactive whiteboard with students, then let them explore independently. Scratch Jazz is perfect for teaching basic coding; students interested in music will enjoy creating their own jazz-themed project using the site's tutorial. Add interest to math lessons by taking advantage of the free lesson plans. Be sure to check out the link to Math and Music Standards found on the music and math curriculum page. Have students modify their learning by creating videos of their music creations using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to have them discuss their journey from the beginning through the final creation of their project. Team up with your school's music teacher to collaborate on the many activities provided on this site.
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Hypothesis - Dan Whaley

Grades
6 to 12
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after ...more
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after creating your account. Create an annotation by highlighting text; the pop-up allows you to add notes including hyperlinks and tags to your annotation. Add notes or highlights using tools on the site. Save your notes for public viewing or just for your use. Invite others to view your notes or collaborate using the sharing link with your personal URL or with social media links. Click the Education tab on the top menu to see examples of classroom use, 10 Ways to Annotate With Students, Creating a Private Group, and more.

tag(s): citations (34), collaboration (55), note taking (42)

In the Classroom

Use Hypothesis as part of your flipped classroom. Annotate and share web resources with students and ask them to contribute notes and additional information. Ask ESL/ELL and resource students to write text to explain concepts by rewording, or to ask questions about the parts they do not understand. Add questions to math explanations, highlight landforms, or discuss information on maps. Share with students for use when collaborating on research projects. Install the Hypothesis bookmark on classroom computers for use at any time.

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FreshGrade - Lane Merrifield and Steve Wandler

Grades
K to 12
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FreshGrade is more than a classroom management system; it also creates eportfolios for all students. Easily capture, provide feedback, and share student work with this tool. Use FreshGrade...more
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FreshGrade is more than a classroom management system; it also creates eportfolios for all students. Easily capture, provide feedback, and share student work with this tool. Use FreshGrade to post lessons, assignments, and due dates. Keep track of grades and allow students to contribute video, audio, images, and comments to their eportfolios. Easily share with parents who can also comment. Create an account using your email and start setting up your classes. Click the drop-down arrow next to your name for support. The support is extensive: find a Quick Start Guide, Walkthrough Video, comprehensive Product Guide, FAQ's, Knowledge Base, and a Video Library. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): assessment (124), classroom management (145), multimedia (52), portfolios (23), Teacher Utilities (86)

In the Classroom

Use FreshGrade to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Even if your school or district already has a learning management system for tracking grades, use FreshGrade for the student portfolios and easy parent inclusion. Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or videos using your mobile device. Show students how to document their learning and make comments in their portfolio. Share portfolios with parents, not just at conference time, but any time the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop. Share student accounts with other teachers they may have.

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