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Year-End Roundup, 2016-2017: Questions for Writing and Discussion - New York Times/The Learning Network

Grades
7 to 12
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The Year-End Roundup includes 179 questions asked by the New York Times Learning Network between September 2016 and June 2017. Each prompt promotes discussion on current events appropriate...more
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The Year-End Roundup includes 179 questions asked by the New York Times Learning Network between September 2016 and June 2017. Each prompt promotes discussion on current events appropriate for students 13 years and older. Choose the link to any question to read a short article with background information and suggested points to consider. Download the complete list in a PDF form for easy reference; however, this form doesn't include links to the articles and additional information.

tag(s): debate (45), persuasive writing (57), process writing (47), writers workshop (33), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for writing prompts, current events discussions, or as a springboard to debate topics. Before writing, encourage students to research their topic and take notes. Use an online note-taking site like Google Keep, reviewed here, to save and share notes. Have students share their completed projects in a blog and ask for feedback from their peers using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. There is no registration with Telegra.ph and you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. Take completed writing projects one step further and ask students to create a Story Map, reviewed here. Story Map offers the ability to tell a story through interactive maps including video, images, and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beautiful Audio Editor - Creative Tools

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K to 12
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to ...more
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to add effects, drag and reorder audio, and split or delete sections of your file. Easily save completed projects to Google Drive or your computer. Be sure to visit the "Docs" section of this site for an overview of available features. Beautiful Audio recommends using the editor for files under 300mb or 45 minutes in length to avoid crashes leading to project failures.

tag(s): editing (71)

In the Classroom

Record your class singing or reading their compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound to be included with PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing project to record stories for selected images. Share with students to use with multimedia projects to create background audio or original audio presentations. View the features of the site on your interactive whiteboard together with your older students, then allow them time to explore and experiment with the available features. Instead of having students share a written speech as an oral presentation, ask them to use Beautiful Audio to record their presentation and add original features to the soundtrack. Include this recording as part of a multimedia presentation using a site like Sway, reviewed here. Sway offers tools to create interactive presentations available for all devices.
 

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Rainforest Animals - Enchanted Learning

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K to 5
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Learn about the many animals found in rainforests at this simple, yet informative site. Choose an animal name to view an annotated drawing of physical features along with a short ...more
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Learn about the many animals found in rainforests at this simple, yet informative site. Choose an animal name to view an annotated drawing of physical features along with a short description of the animal's characteristics. This site also includes a few printables including a rainforest animals book and word wheel.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), rainforests (15)

In the Classroom

Share this site on classroom computers for students to explore and learn about the variety of animals found in the rainforest. Use the information on the site as a starting point for research projects on animals and the rainforest. Have students keep a digital portfolio of resources using WeLearned.It, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create informational videos sharing their research using a tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Consider creating groups for different animal classifications such as birds or insects to create the videos.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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World Biomes: Rainforest - Kids Do Ecology

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4 to 8
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Learn about rainforests with this simple, yet informative site. Short paragraphs provide information about the location, climate, plants, and animals found in the rainforest. Be sure...more
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Learn about rainforests with this simple, yet informative site. Short paragraphs provide information about the location, climate, plants, and animals found in the rainforest. Be sure to follow links at the bottom of the page to continue research on this biome on other websites.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), climate (94), plants (165), rainforests (15)

In the Classroom

Include this site with resources for your unit on biomes. Share with students as an introduction to the two types of rainforest biomes, then have them research further information. Be sure to check out TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. This is an online research project for elementary and middle school students. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate different components within the rainforest.

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Why Do Leaves Change Color? - Environmental Education for Kids

Grades
4 to 8
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Learn the science behind the changing color of fall leaves in kid-friendly terms at this simple, yet informative website. Get answers to the title question and more through a series...more
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Learn the science behind the changing color of fall leaves in kid-friendly terms at this simple, yet informative website. Get answers to the title question and more through a series of questions this site answers including How do leaves change color? and Do leaves change because of weather?

tag(s): fall (15), trees (29), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Include this site on classroom computers and your class website for students to explore on their own. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to practice science vocabulary terms related to changing leaf colors. Have students take pictures each day of leaves near your classroom or their homes. Challenge students to create online collages with these images using a site such as Kizoa, reviewed here.

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Savanna Biomes - Blue Planet Biomes

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4 to 8
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Visit this site to learn more about the savanna biome. Choose from links on the page to learn about the animals, plants, and climate information of the savannah. The short ...more
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Visit this site to learn more about the savanna biome. Choose from links on the page to learn about the animals, plants, and climate information of the savannah. The short descriptive article on the home page provides an excellent overview of this biome and characteristics of the Australian and African savannas.
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tag(s): animals (307), biomes (117), habitats (90), plants (165)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. This is an online research project for elementary and middle school students. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast features of different biomes.

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Prairie: Introduction - Illinois State Museum

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4 to 8
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Learn about the Illinois prairies from plants and animals to prairie landforms and restoration efforts. Choose from links describing the prairie ecosystem through science, art, and...more
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Learn about the Illinois prairies from plants and animals to prairie landforms and restoration efforts. Choose from links describing the prairie ecosystem through science, art, and human voices. Be sure to visit the Activities and Resources section of this site for hands-on ideas to learn more about the prairies and prairie lifestyle.

tag(s): animals (307), biomes (117), habitats (90), plants (165), prairie (11)

In the Classroom

Include information from this site with your other resources when teaching about biomes or states. Include a link to the site on your class webpage for students to use when researching information about prairies. Have students create a simple infographic about prairies sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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World Biomes: Chaparral - Kids Do Ecology

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2 to 6
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Learn about the chapparal biome with this simple, yet informative site. Short paragraphs provide information about the location, climate, plants, and animals found within the chapparal....more
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Learn about the chapparal biome with this simple, yet informative site. Short paragraphs provide information about the location, climate, plants, and animals found within the chapparal. Be sure to follow links at the bottom of the page to continue research on this biome on other websites.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), ecosystems (88), plants (165)

In the Classroom

Include this site with resources for your unit on biomes. Share with students as an introduction to the chapparal biome, then have them research further information. Be sure to check out TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. This is an online research project for elementary and middle school students. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate different components within the chapparal.

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MrOwl - Arvind Raichur

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6 to 12
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Organize, search, and share information with MrOwl. Use this site to build "branches" with information useful to you. Add links, photos, and videos to your branches, then share with...more
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Organize, search, and share information with MrOwl. Use this site to build "branches" with information useful to you. Add links, photos, and videos to your branches, then share with others through social media. Search the site to find branches created by others and grab them to save in your account.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), organizational skills (129)

In the Classroom

Use MrOwl to organize and save resources for all classroom content. Have students create and share branches with resources used in research projects. Share with students as a way to organize information for review of any content.

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Chaparral Biome - Blue Planet Biomes

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3 to 12
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Visit this site to learn more about the chaparral biome. Choose from links on the page to learn about the animals, plants, locations, and climate in this biome which is ...more
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Visit this site to learn more about the chaparral biome. Choose from links on the page to learn about the animals, plants, locations, and climate in this biome which is found on most in continents. Be sure to check out this site for an excellent starting point to learn about one of the world's lesser-known biomes.
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tag(s): animal homes (57), biomes (117), habitats (90), plants (165)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your biome unit. Be sure to check out TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. This is an online research project for elementary and middle school students.

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Chaparral Animal Printouts - Enchanted Learning

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K to 5
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Learn about the animals living in the chaparral through printable fact sheets including drawings. Choose any animal name to view quick facts. Right-click on the image to save and print...more
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Learn about the animals living in the chaparral through printable fact sheets including drawings. Choose any animal name to view quick facts. Right-click on the image to save and print as a coloring page and print out.
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tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), habitats (90)

In the Classroom

Have students create maps locating chaparals and animals from around the world using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create posters with animal facts.

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Sonoran Desert Seek and Find - Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

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K to 6
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Learn about nocturnal and diurnal animals with the two seek and find activities on this site. Choose one of the two images, then hover over each animal or plant to ...more
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Learn about nocturnal and diurnal animals with the two seek and find activities on this site. Choose one of the two images, then hover over each animal or plant to find their name; click on them to learn more.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), deserts (15)

In the Classroom

Share with younger students on an interactive whiteboard before asking students to explore on their own. The mouse needs to be placed in a certain area for each image before the caption appears. After exploring the site, have students choose and research an animal then create an online interactive poster individually or together as a class using a tool such as Adobe Spark, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of local landmarks (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Hands-on Lessons and Activities - The Ohio State University and Jessica Fries-Gaither

Grades
K to 8
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Find links to several lesson plans teaching the concepts related to the tundra and ecosystems, aligned to standards, for grades K-8. The site includes four categories Tundra Animals...more
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Find links to several lesson plans teaching the concepts related to the tundra and ecosystems, aligned to standards, for grades K-8. The site includes four categories Tundra Animals and Plants, the Tundra Biome, Permafrost, and Predator/Prey and Food Webs. Also included is literacy integration through a virtual bookshelf.
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tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), ecosystems (88), plants (165), tundra (16)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your other materials for teaching biomes, specifically the tundra. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from these lessons using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here, or Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here. Create a class wiki for your biome unit and divide resources by types of biomes. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Biomes of the World - Arizona State University School of Life Sciences

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6 to 12
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Explore and learn about biomes through this interactive resource from the biologists at Arizona State University. Choose a particular biome to read and listen to information describing...more
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Explore and learn about biomes through this interactive resource from the biologists at Arizona State University. Choose a particular biome to read and listen to information describing the definition and characteristics of the biome. The show/hide words portion of each section provides definitions of vocabulary included in each part of the site. Other information on the site includes worksheets and coloring pages to print.

tag(s): biomes (117), deserts (15), forests (28), oceans (161), rainforests (15), rivers (25), tundra (16)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts describing each different biome using the scientist's audio from the site as a model. Use a site such as Podcast Generator, reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of biomes from around the world (or country) with audio stories and pictures included!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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How to Deliver a World Class Presentation - Malcolm Andrews

Grades
6 to 12
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Does giving a presentation make you nervous? Perhaps you envy those who make presenting look easy? This infographic packed with tips and advice provides solutions to everyday concerns...more
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Does giving a presentation make you nervous? Perhaps you envy those who make presenting look easy? This infographic packed with tips and advice provides solutions to everyday concerns about speaking in public. Scroll through to find common problems and how to address them. Other information includes planning, preparation, and delivery tips for getting the most out of any presentation.
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tag(s): infographics (48), speaking (26), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Share this infographic with students before class presentations. Include it on your website for reference throughout the year. After class presentations, have students reflect on what they learned through the speech creating and presenting process and ask them to think about what they would do differently next time. Ask students to write a rough draft script for what they want to say (be sure to have them state what they would do differently next time). Then use a tool such as Recap, reviewed here, or Flipgrid One, reviewed here. Recap and Flipgrid One are video response and reflection tools. This wrap-up for your assignment will help students internalize what they've learned about giving a presentation. Challenge students to create an infographic for something they do well academically, i.e. test taking and studying, writing up labs or research reports, etc. Use a tool such as Infogram, reviewed here, or Piktochart, reviewed here.

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Top 10 Animal Adaptations - Animal Planet

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5 to 12
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This slideshow takes viewers through a list of 10 animal adaptations beginning with living in communities and ending with nest parasitism (using another species' nest for laying eggs)....more
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This slideshow takes viewers through a list of 10 animal adaptations beginning with living in communities and ending with nest parasitism (using another species' nest for laying eggs). Each slide contains a short description of the adaptation.
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tag(s): adaptations (18), animal homes (57), animals (307)

In the Classroom

Include this slideshow with any unit on animals. Create an online bulletin board using Padlet, reviewed here. Add a column to your Padlet for each adaptation and ask students to add animals to each category of adaptation. Ask students to create reports on animals and their adaptations, then use Flipsnack, reviewed here, to turn their PDFs into an online book. There is even a page-turning effect! If you only have a word doc or image use PDFaid, reviewed here, to convert them to PDF format.

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Biome Challenge - Diana Dell

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5 to 12
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Test your knowledge of biomes with this 12 question quiz. The quiz begins with a question with a $500 value and moves up in difficulty to the final question worth ...more
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Test your knowledge of biomes with this 12 question quiz. The quiz begins with a question with a $500 value and moves up in difficulty to the final question worth $1,000,000. Use the three hints provided with each question, if needed, to choose the correct response from the four provided options.

tag(s): assessment (113), biomes (117), ecosystems (88)

In the Classroom

Use this site as either an activator to assess how much students know about biomes, OR as a review tool assessing what needs practice before an exam. Have students complete the activity individually on classroom computers, either simultaneously - or as a learning center or station. Be sure to post the site on your teacher wiki or webpage too, allowing students to review before an assessment both in and out of the classroom. Have students create their own quizzes using Quia or another quiz creation site such as Bamboozle, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Biomes Jeopardy Review Game - SuperTeacherTools

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5 to 12
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Review information about biomes with this Jeopardy-style game. Play using different options for teams or individuals. Choose the play live option to receive a code to join a game or...more
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Review information about biomes with this Jeopardy-style game. Play using different options for teams or individuals. Choose the play live option to receive a code to join a game or play directly from the game board by clicking on question and dollar amount options.
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tag(s): assessment (113), biomes (117), game based learning (127)

In the Classroom

Use this game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge at the beginning of your biome unit. Share a link on classroom computers and your website for students to play on their own to review concepts. Have students create their own Jeopardy game using Jeopardy Labs, reviewed here, to share and review facts before a unit test on any topic.

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Virtual Lab: Ecosystems, Organisms, and Trophic Levels - Glencoe

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore biomes and ecosystems in this virtual lab while seeking out various organisms found in each environment. Go further in the exploration to answer field observation questions...more
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Explore biomes and ecosystems in this virtual lab while seeking out various organisms found in each environment. Go further in the exploration to answer field observation questions seeking relationships between inhabitants of the ecosystems. Begin research by choosing a biome, then clicking on an organism. Earn points for correct answers throughout the lab. Be sure to check out the journal including descriptions and information about the inhabitants of each biome.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (307), biomes (117), ecology (138), ecosystems (88)

In the Classroom

Add this virtual lab to your biome and ecosystem unit resources. Have students explore the site as part of a science center or on their own as part of a flipped lesson. Ask students to choose one biome to explore in depth, and then share locations of these biomes around the world using Google Earth, reviewed here. Challenge students to create an annotated image of that biome or ecosystem including text boxes and related links using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Have them color-code the text or sources where they learned new or different information about the biome they explored.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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kudoswall - Nikhil Vootkur and Jag Vootkur

Grades
K to 12
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kudoswall is a free online portfolio-building tool. Upload images to document accomplishments, talents, and experiences. Add and sort information into categories documenting sports,...more
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kudoswall is a free online portfolio-building tool. Upload images to document accomplishments, talents, and experiences. Add and sort information into categories documenting sports, academic, volunteer, or other topics. kudoswall automatically creates a portfolio for sharing or updating at any time.

tag(s): assessment (113), classroom management (157), portfolios (35)

In the Classroom

Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or written anecdotes. Show students how to create a portfolio, then document their learning and make comments in their portfolio. Share portfolios with parents, not just at conference time, but anytime the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop.

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