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Laundry Day - Cassandra Erkens

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about...more
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Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about a topic. Students select a laundry detergent (Tide, Gain, Bold, and Cheer). These will be their cooperative learning groups to improve, reinforce, or enrich their understanding of the lesson. Students select the Tide detergent if they feel the information is a tidal wave coming down on them. Gain is the detergent selected by students who understand the basics, but need more assistance. Students select the Bold detergent if they are confident with the material, but they have a few questions. Cheer represents the students needing enrichment activities for the unit of instruction. Each detergent is scaffolded for student success and represents a readiness level for the assessment. Students use their homework and previous assessments/activities to determine which detergent has the appropriate activities.

tag(s): assessment (117), classroom management (152), differentiation (45)

In the Classroom

Laundry day allows your students to take ownership of their learning. It also allows the teacher to move around the classroom to assist students and monitor engagement. Post the activities on your learning management site, blog, wiki, or website for students to easily navigate the different "detergents." Provide the learning opportunities online to allow the students to navigate through the different levels. They can work alone, in pairs, or in groups to promote collaboration. Link videos and resources for the students to access to enrich or support the material. For best results, you will want to use this strategy over and over so students become conversant with the terms and strategies.

Use laundry day as an activity to pre-assess your students as well. What detergent did they chose at the beginning of the unit? Students could write a blog post or send an email on the detergent they selected at the of the unit. Have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Exobrain - Colin Dunn and Nick Gauthier

Grades
1 to 12
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name ...more
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name then drag your mouse to create additional nodes. Create links between nodes by dragging a line between them or remove links by hovering over the line and clicking the scissors. Free accounts allow for three cloud-based maps. Access using the unique url generated for each mind map. The introductory video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not. Be aware: maps can be viewed publicly. Be sure to check your district policy on publishing student work online.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to map out a poem, story, or novel students are reading. Use in managing (and even color-coding) information in any content area. Assess prior knowledge with a class brainstorm. Use as a plan for projects to show all information and all steps for its completion. This would also be a great tool for group projects for your students or even in YOUR grad classes! Teachers in lower grades can create whole class maps together. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since you can only create three maps for free, you might want to compare with other mind-mapping tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge.

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Good.is - GOOD Worldwide, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation ...more
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Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation success stories, educating farmers in remote rural villages to increase their crop yield, creating entrepreneurs who design change, inspiring stories about pets, and so much more. What a refreshing way to start the day! Don't misinterpret that description: you will also be updated on current news stories. The choice is yours. Create a free account, choose topics of interest, and sign up for the daily free newsletter to read what's new (and positive) for those topics. If you find something you are truly passionate about you can follow people, and you can contribute articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): enrichment (12), news (258), newspapers (98), politics (98), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Good.is is perfect for enrichment, research, or a current events class. Include it on your class web page (if you are comfortable with the description: a community of people who give a d---) for students to access both in and out of class. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. For students who enjoy current events, Good.is is a terrific source of up-to-the-minute positive stories from across the web. There is advertising, but it is not too intrusive. Use this site as one of several current event options when asking students to find real world connections to curriculum topics. You can always send students directly to the full articles on their original sites to avoid displaying the Good.is frame at the top. Use articles as writing prompts for blog posts or practice writing informational texts or persuasive writing.

Comments

Great reading resource on current events! Ladisha, VA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Population Pyramid - Martin DeWulf

Grades
6 to 12
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first...more
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first letter of its name. The population pyramid is broken into male vs. female and by age groupings of every 5 years from birth to 100+. Hovering over each bar (age grouping) pops up the percentage of the population in that age group and gender. A URL is provided so you can link directly to the specific graphic that you wish to share.

tag(s): charts and graphs (197), population (64)

In the Classroom

At a very simple level, this site is great for teaching about reading charts and graphs or math lessons about how to display data. In social studies or science, view and compare the demographics of various countries. Discuss the religious, economic, and health reasons for the shape of the population pyramids. Discuss demographic transitions, developed vs. developing countries, and emerging issues. Use the information when preparing presentations about health and welfare, world cultures, and biological issues concerning the environments and population demographics. Hypothesize reasons for differences, then have students research to test their hypotheses. Research and discuss the issue of population by searching articles from different countries that show a different perspective from ours.

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Longform - longform.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles...more
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles include every imaginable topic. There are publications as "well-known" as New York magazine and as "low-profile" as the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Search for a topic using the search bar or scroll through current offerings on the home page. Narrow down choices by method of reading such as Instapaper or Kindle format. You can also find podcasts about featured publications and articles. Click on an article's title to read online or print using links provided. Choose the read later button to save to your Longform account. Registration using an email address and password is required for this option.

tag(s): expository writing (40), independent reading (127), poetry (221), reading lists (78), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and save articles to use with classroom topics or for independent student reading. Find informational texts to use for Common Core practice. Share this site with students to create their own account to find articles to read. This is definitely a site that you want to list on your class wiki, blog, or website. Teachers of writing can use these articles as examples of different writing styles and of writing with audience and voice in mind. Select more controversial articles to use as writing prompts.

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Quick Picture Tools - QuickPictureTools.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you...more
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you desire, then choose from options offered to edit pictures. When finished, click "generate image" to save to your computer. No registration needed!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): firstday (24), images (283)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for easy image editing for you and your students for any classroom projects. No registration is required, and images are saved directly to your computer for immediate use. Make simple reminder posters or classroom signs using the text emboss tool. Invite students to create image/text combinations for bulletin boards, such as types of leaves or insects. Make introductions of students as a first day of school activity using digital pictures and the text tool.

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Spelling with the Spellits - BBC

Grades
2 to 6
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Improve your spelling with these engaging activities. Enter by choosing flash or non-flash for content. The non-flash version contains printable versions of all spelling activities....more
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Improve your spelling with these engaging activities. Enter by choosing flash or non-flash for content. The non-flash version contains printable versions of all spelling activities. The beginning of each activity lists skills addressed: plural nouns, homophones, apostrophes, prefixes, suffixes, etc. Be sure to check out the sections for Teachers and Parents with suggestions for using the site. This site was created in the United Kingdom so you may find different spellings and pronunciations from those in American English.

tag(s): grammar (210), homophones (15), parts of speech (67), phonics (69), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for use on classroom computers for spelling practice. It would also be ideal on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a student-run center. Have students work alone or in pairs to play games and complete activities. Share a link to the site on your classroom website for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Voices of Youth - UNICEF

Grades
6 to 12
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions ...more
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions with others around the world on global topics. Topics include poverty, education, human rights, health issues, and much more. Choose from links on the home page to find information on specific topics. Scroll through the page to read the latest posts. Click on tags at the bottom of each article to find related articles. Easily view the site in French or Spanish using links provided at the top of each page. Create your own posts or add comments after registration on the site -- with email or using a Facebook or Twitter account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they 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 Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): dental health (22), disabilities (21), environment (322), hiv/aids (19), inequalities (25), mental health (27), school violence (14)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource to bookmark and use throughout the year when discussing current events, specific countries or geographic areas, or for non-fiction reading. Find informational texts that matter to your students. Spark informational writing, as well. Allow students to browse the site to find interesting articles. Have students create magazine covers of information found on this site using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here. Challenge students to create a newspaper article using articles found on this site as a model using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. World language teachers will find this useful when viewing articles in French or Spanish to practice translation skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Groups in Action - Video Vignettes for Triggering Discussion - Problem Based Learning at University of Delaware

Grades
6 to 12
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late,...more
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late, someone dominating conversations, disinterest in projects, and more. The videos also offer solutions to the common problems. Since collaboration is a much-touted job skill for the 21st century, this resource can help anyone improve their skills-- even adults!

tag(s): problem solving (294), social skills (22)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource when beginning group projects. Most videos are under 3 minutes (even around one minute). It would be feasible to show nearly all videos prior to starting group projects. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display suggested approaches to problems within groups. Use throughout projects as needed to address specific problems that have arisen with groups in your classroom. Make the link available for students to access as needed when frustrations crop up. Counselors and support teachers may also want to use these videos to help students improve interpersonal "smarts" for group work.

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Persuasion Across Time and Space Lesson Plan - Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could...more
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could be useful with high schoolers as well. Each lesson includes an overview of content and goals for the end of lesson. Download the introduction and each of the five lessons using the PDF links provided. All lessons include correlations to Common Core standards and take approximately 4 to 5 days to complete. Each lesson includes all necessary handouts and assessment suggestions. Lesson topics relate to important events and people from American history: Gettysburg Address, civil rights, and others.

tag(s): advertising (33), civil rights (121), gettysburg address (17), martin luther king (36), persuasive writing (55), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Print and use lessons (or portions of lessons) in your classroom. Although geared toward middle school ESL/ELL students, these materials can be adapted and used for any middle and high school students. Challenge your students to write their own persuasive writing pieces. Use this site to teach about historical events in America's past (Gettysburg Address, civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr, and more).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Curious George - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 1
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Join Curious George in his adventures with the Man in the Yellow Hat. Enjoy the antics of Curious George through online games, printables, and videos. Games feature matching, numbers,...more
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Join Curious George in his adventures with the Man in the Yellow Hat. Enjoy the antics of Curious George through online games, printables, and videos. Games feature matching, numbers, sounds, categorizing, shapes, Spanish, movement/dance, and animal sounds. Earn stickers with successful completion of each game. In the teacher section, there are 16 "ready to go" activities. Each activity includes a description, topic, and tips!

tag(s): animals (320), dance (27), geometric shapes (169), matching (24), numbers (194), preK (284)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips or activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site at centers to reinforce skills (counting, matching, learning shapes, and more). Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Common Core Shift: Short, Focused Research Projects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 3
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example ...more
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This article explains the idea of short, focused research projects as emphasized by Common Core. Find out the background, the why and what, and more as you see an example you can use when teaching about the water cycle in elementary grades. Use a readaloud of a recommended book to get your class started. This particular example is for lower elementary, but the article is useful for elementary teachers at any level. The article and the sample project are written (and field tested!) by an experienced elementary library/media specialist.

tag(s): commoncore (89), water cycle (32)

In the Classroom

NO more BIG projects! Make research manageable and meaningful. Try the lesson plan as a way to incorporate Common Core reading skills into the lessons you would be teaching as part of your science curriculum. If you do not have access to the same book, check interlibrary loan or adapt the lessons to another book.

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Teaching Children Reading and Math - Patricia Hall Jones

Grades
K to 6
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Find many easy to implement, brain-based ideas for supporting instruction in reading and math. The site contains easy to follow labels to different areas such as aesthetics, environment,...more
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Find many easy to implement, brain-based ideas for supporting instruction in reading and math. The site contains easy to follow labels to different areas such as aesthetics, environment, reading, math, games, strategies, and the early years. Within each of those areas are choices to narrow down content. Find tips to help your ADHD students to focus. The site's author is a big proponent of using word walls in all curriculum areas, so there are many pictures and suggestions for how to use word walls in the classroom. Although not fancy and glitzy like many sites, this site is well worth a visit to find simple and practical suggestions for everyday classroom use.

tag(s): adhd (27), dance (27), fluency (25), geometric shapes (169), integers (40), preK (284), reading comprehension (127), sight words (36), vocabulary development (119)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year for strengthening use of word walls, finding games/activities for classroom use, and ideas for strengthening teaching of reading and math. Check out the activities for use with ADHD students to help with focusing.

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Visualead - Quick & Easy Visual QR Code Generator - Nevo Alva, Uriel Peled, and Itamar

Grades
K to 12
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Turn any image into a fully functional QR Code in 3 easy steps that take less than one minute. Upload your image or choose one from Visualead's online gallery. Set ...more
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Turn any image into a fully functional QR Code in 3 easy steps that take less than one minute. Upload your image or choose one from Visualead's online gallery. Set the desired destination for your QR code. Place the QR code where you choose on the image. Upload your image from your computer file or drag and drop from a folder on your computer. Choose from options for the QR link: choose url, vCard, YouTube video, Facebook, or many other web-based media choices. Drag, resize and place your code anywhere on the image. When finished, click on generate to complete the QR code generation process. Login using Facebook, Google, or email to receive the finished image. Share using the social media links or download to your computer. Here is a (link to an example).

A tip: when creating your QR Code, you will see a link to "generate your image" on the last step. It will give you the options of "try again" or "next." Choose "next" to go to the final step. "Try again doesn't mean that your image wasn't created, it just gives you the option for personalizing the code differently before completing the process.

tag(s): qr codes (18)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed. Be sure to search TeachersFirst resources for many other great ways to use QR codes in the classroom!

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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - The Fred Rogers Company

Grades
K to 1
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Join four year old Daniel Tiger, Mom Tiger, Dad Tiger, and Tigey in games, videos, and printables. Topics explore socio-emotional themes: sadness, anger, and bedtime anxieties. There...more
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Join four year old Daniel Tiger, Mom Tiger, Dad Tiger, and Tigey in games, videos, and printables. Topics explore socio-emotional themes: sadness, anger, and bedtime anxieties. There are also activities about doctor visits, music, exploring around the house, riding the trolley through the neighborhood and more. The collection of videos has many different segments from the television series. Don't miss the printables.

tag(s): emotions (37), preK (284)

In the Classroom

Use this at a center, or a way to start conversations about feelings or situations. Share the interactives or videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the printables for students to create their own adventures for Daniel Tiger. Have your class create an adventure for Daniel Tiger. Put the stories into a class book. Take this idea to a new level, and create your own "neighborhood" in your class. Each student can add their own experiences with podcasts, videos, or writing. Have students create podcasts using a site such as Spreaker (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English Teens - British Council

Grades
7 to 12
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This teens' branch of Learn English, reviewed here, contains interactives, short stories, poems, grammar bits, and a video zone with many short videos....more
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This teens' branch of Learn English, reviewed here, contains interactives, short stories, poems, grammar bits, and a video zone with many short videos. You can also write captions for humorous photos. The vocabulary zone organizes words into various categories. The exam section gives advice on exam preparation for all types of tests including listening, speaking, and reading as well as study tips. Don't miss the free time section and a magazine with articles written by peers. A free log-in allows teens access to printed versions of the stories (with questions), the ability to make comments, enter competitions, answer polls, and even submit writings. The 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. Since this site was created in the UK, you will notice some spelling differences from American English.

tag(s): creative writing (169), grammar (210), test prep (95), video (272), vocabulary development (119)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and have your ELL/ESL students use it as one of your learning stations. Short stories and other interactive features of the site would work well with weaker readers and learning support students, too. Encourage your ESL/ELL students to share their writings on Learn English Teens (if allowed by school policy).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound Around You - University of Salford

Grades
2 to 12
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own ...more
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own soundscapes using the site or through the iPhone/iPad app.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (125), listening (86), maps (295), senses (31), sound (105), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Those who teach geography and world cultures will like this! Use this resource to get your students thinking about the sounds around them. Include it when studying sound or the human ear in science class. Connect with other subjects by envisioning smells that would be there or craft a story inspired by the sounds heard at a specific location. Play sounds for your younger students and ask what they hear. Create sound stories together -- or as a creative project --by playing a series of sounds to tell the tale! Use your imagination to add this resource to other location projects used throughout the year. World language teachers could assign students to create a sound and word story about a cultural location. Use these sounds as background and add the dialog!

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Poem Hunter - PoemHunter.com

Grades
6 to 12
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PoemHunter is a search engine (and more) for finding poems, lyrics, and quotations. Know only part of a poem or quotation? Type it in the search box to find the ...more
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PoemHunter is a search engine (and more) for finding poems, lyrics, and quotations. Know only part of a poem or quotation? Type it in the search box to find the entire original source. Choose from hot poems or specific topics on the home page. View and explore the top 500 poets and/or the top 500 poems. Read the Poem of the Day that includes three poems: one classic, one modern, and one viewer submitted. Choose from the poets, poems, quotations, or lyrics tabs to narrow your search to specific topics. Become a member to save favorite poems for further reference. Be aware: many of the pages include comments from users. While all were appropriate at the time of this review, it is always best to preview!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), literature (267), poetry (221), quotations (25)

In the Classroom

Bookmark PoemHunter to use as a resource for finding poetry or quotations for classroom use. Share with students to find poems based on personal interest or specific topics. Use as a model when students create their own poems. Challenge students to create their own poems to be shared on a class poetry wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Parenting Resources - Glazebrook and Associates

Grades
K to 8
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Positive parental involvement is a critical part of every child's education. Discovering ways to help support and encourage parenting is a must! The site offers schools, educators,...more
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Positive parental involvement is a critical part of every child's education. Discovering ways to help support and encourage parenting is a must! The site offers schools, educators, caregivers, and teachers a collection of material on countless education topics. Information on useful websites, grant information, and a monthly newsletter offer ideas and support. Steps to a parent involvement education program helps you design, or even check your own parent program.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): parent conferences (23), parents (57), preK (284)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site at Back to School Night. Share the link on your class website for parents to explore on their own. Why not feature one relevant article per month in your newsletter, blog, or wiki. (Provide the url and a brief description of the content).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Creating Infographics: A Screencast Tutorial - School Library Journal Linda Braun

Grades
3 to 12
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View this video to learn how to create an infographic. For visual learners, this is a must see! Linda Braun briefly introduces what an infographic is using the program Visual.ly, ...more
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View this video to learn how to create an infographic. For visual learners, this is a must see! Linda Braun briefly introduces what an infographic is using the program Visual.ly, reviewed here. She then switches over to a program called Easel.ly, reviewed here, where you can use one of their templates to create your infographic. She steps you through changing objects, object size and color, and adding text. Once she finishes the infographic in Easel.ly, she then switches to Infogr.am, reviewed here, and shows how to either use their templates, or create your own, including importing your own data and images.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (53), video (272)

In the Classroom

Introduce your students to infographics and this video in class. Share this (approximately 14 minute) video on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then, post this video on your website for students to watch whenever they need help while creating an infographic. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand content and connect it with the real world. See a full TeachersFirst article about using infographics as a scaffold and formative assessment here. Have students create an infographic about the impact of slavery on an economy or to explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Use one of the tools described in the video, Visual.ly, reviewed here, Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Infogr.am, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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