Ideas and Resources for Substitutes from TeachersFirst

This collection of ideas and reviewed resources is selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful time-fillers for when plans are not a perfect fit as well as teacher-friendly suggestions to make subbing a positive learning experience for all. Be sure to check "In the classroom" suggestions for practical tips and ways to use these offerings.

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CamStudio - Free Screen Streaming Software - CamStudio

Grades
K to 12
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CamStudio is a free software download for Windows-based PC's that allows you to record screen and audio from their PC and create video files (a screencast). Other options allow for...more
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CamStudio is a free software download for Windows-based PC's that allows you to record screen and audio from their PC and create video files (a screencast). Other options allow for adding captions and picture-in-picture to recordings. There is a complete FAQ section, and find a comprehensive 13-minute video tutorial with instructions for downloading all the way through to recording, located here. This video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (260)

In the Classroom

Use CamStudio to record instructions for using websites. Share how to perform problems, step by step directions for any project, and much more. Leave a video message for a substitute teacher or even the class! Create a video message to share with parents about current projects, clips from field trips, and more. Share on your class website for students to view at home. Allow students to record a video sharing their favorite websites or tips for solving math problems.

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BookBub - Josh Schanker

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for a new book to read? Bookbub has it covered. Enter your email address and begin telling BookBub your preferences in genres and your preferred reader device or app ...more
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Looking for a new book to read? Bookbub has it covered. Enter your email address and begin telling BookBub your preferences in genres and your preferred reader device or app (Nook, Kindle, iBook, Google Play, Kobo). You will be presented with a list of authors to follow based on your genres, and then you create your password. Next you will get a list of books recommended for you. Best of all, many of the books are free. You can always put a book under bookmarks, and be alerted when it has a reduced price or is available for free. You will even get an email when one of your favortite authors is publishing a new book. Under your account and notifications select how often you would like to receive BookBub updates - daily, weekly, and various other choices.
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tag(s): book lists (162), independent reading (86), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Sign up for BookBub and receive daily emails with book excerpts. Share the excerpts with your class as a way to hook some students into reading or to offer book suggestions. Use the emails as an example of a service that students may want to try. A valid email is required to join this site. Read TeachersFirst tips for safely managing email registrations here. Substitute oral book recommendations by having students choose an interesting excerpt from a book they are reading and share with it others via email or on your classroom blog or website. Be sure to have students use the title and author in the subject line! This will also provide a record for those looking for a new book.

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Classroom Freebies - Charity Preston

Grades
K to 8
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The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management...more
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The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management charts, coloring sheets, worksheets, and posters. Use the search bar to find specific content or browse using links to grade level content and topics such as the End of the Year and Common Core Freebies. Follow links for directions about downloading materials.

tag(s): back to school (63), book reports (28), classroom management (126), commoncore (75), posters (42), preK (258), substitutes (27), worksheets (70)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Classroom Freebies as an excellent resource for teaching materials throughout the school year. Take advantage of the free printables for use on bulletin boards, for classroom management, and centers. Choose materials from the site to use in substitute folders. Be sure to share this site with your fellow teachers! You might consider finding snow day and vacation day activities to post on your class website for parent and student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Math Salamanders - Crispin Salamander

Grades
K to 6
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Math Salamander offers a huge selection of math worksheets and interactives for preschool through 5th grade. Browse the site by grade level or topic to find the resources available....more
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Math Salamander offers a huge selection of math worksheets and interactives for preschool through 5th grade. Browse the site by grade level or topic to find the resources available. In addition to worksheets, choose the Online Practice for online interacitves to practice math knowledge and skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (128), division (98), geometric shapes (136), measurement (125), money (119), multiplication (122), number sense (70), numbers (119), place value (34), preK (258), substitutes (27), subtraction (109), time (92), worksheets (70)

In the Classroom

Although there is relatively heavy advertising on this site, the many resources make it worth a look. Take advantage of the free worksheets on Math Salamander for use with students needing additional practice, to send home when parents request additional work, or to keep in your substitute folder for quick practice activities. Be sure to share a link on your class page for parents to access at home. Create a link to online interactives on your classroom computers for use as a math center.

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SRecorder - SRecorder Company

Grades
K to 12
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Record a PC desktop with or without sound using free software from SRecorder. This software works only with Windows Operating Systems. After downloading and installing the software,...more
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Record a PC desktop with or without sound using free software from SRecorder. This software works only with Windows Operating Systems. After downloading and installing the software, use the desktop shortcut to begin the recording. Choose to view the entire desktop or select a specific area using the crop box provided. Click the red button to record, then use the icons on the screen to save to your computer or share to social networking sites.

tag(s): video (260)

In the Classroom

Use SRecorder to record instructions for using websites. Share how to perform problems, step by step directions for any project, and much more. Leave a video message for your substitute teacher or even your class! Create a video message to share with parents about current projects, clips from field trips, and more. Share on your class website for students to view at home.

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Charity Navigator - Charity Navigator

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select...more
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select charities based on most followed, celebrity related, relying on public contributions, top notch, low rated, a charity worth watching, as well as many more categories. Learn about charities formed to help recent events (Hot Topics) such as Earthquake & Hurricane victims, California Wildfires, Support Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers, Immigration and Refugees, and many others. The Hot Topics change with the times, of course, so check back regularly. Learn tips for donating such as the Tax Benefits of Giving, a Guide to Volunteering, and the 5 Steps to Informed Giving includes giving in the workplace and questions to ask before donating.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (36), problem solving (225), service projects (17)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to find worthy causes to give back and help other people in need. Give character education programs real purpose by discovering the many ways people need help. Challenge students to become an active part of your community and help others. Each class can choose a favorite charity to support through time or donations. Throughout the year, find ways to volunteer, collect money, or make a difference. Keep a class blog documenting progress, plans, ideas, and experiences. Substitute pen and paper writing journals by having students create blogs sharing their experiences using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. New to blogging? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. Challenge each class to enhance their learning by highlighting the journey of giving to your community through a video documentary using a tool like Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here. Share videos using a tool like Schooltube, reviewed here.

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This is a "gift" to those who are interested in having their students realize that where they donate can be researched. Furthermore it shows how many are working to improve the world across multiple categories. This helps foster critical analysis. My students will be selecting a charity and arguing for its support. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for...more
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for what to write. Returning to an organizer to edit is possible. Print your Story Map, since it is not saved.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), graphic organizers (50), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Substitute paper and pencil story mapping by introducing your class to Story Map and writing a class story. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and be sure to point out the prompts to answer with each organizer. Bookmark Story Map on class computers as part of stations when developing a writing project. Put a link to this tool on your website or blog for students to access at home.
 

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Owlie's Skywarn Weather-Ready Educatioal Activity - National Weather Service

Grades
K to 5
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Learn Science and Weather Safety with Owlie Skywarn, a site produced by the National Weather Service. Participate in a Weather Ready Activity for emergency preparedness and a family...more
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Learn Science and Weather Safety with Owlie Skywarn, a site produced by the National Weather Service. Participate in a Weather Ready Activity for emergency preparedness and a family emergency plan. Master the weather game to become a young meteorologist or make a copy of Flat Owlie (use the search bar to find this) to take with you in any weather! Be sure also to check out the sections for parents and teens with many resources for teaching and learning about weather. You may want to read The Adventures of Owlie Skywarn and Sanctuary Sam (PDF) found here. You may want to create a guided reading activity for this using Read Ahead, reviewed here.

tag(s): weather (164)

In the Classroom

Print and share Flat Owlies with your students to send on travels around the country and the world. Ask travelers to share pictures of Flat Owlie in different types of weather. Include activities from this site with your weather unit. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, substitute paper and pen by having students create weather blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using edublogs, reviewed here. Take daily pictures of the weather outside your classroom and create an annotated image including text boxes and related links. Use a tool such as Image Annotator, reviewed here, for younger students, or Google Drawings, reviewed here. Google Drawings allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more. Not familiar with Google Drawings? Watch an archived OK2Ask session to learn how to use: OK2Ask Google Drawings, here.
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CommonLit - CommonLit

Grades
4 to 12
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Access commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions for that theme. Plus there are Text Sets perfect for social studies teachers! Choose a Lexile'''''®...more
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Access commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions for that theme. Plus there are Text Sets perfect for social studies teachers! Choose a Lexile'''''® grade level for reading and download the text in PDF format or read online. Each text has a menu across the top offering Paired Texts, Related Media, a Teachers Guide, and a Parent Guide. Accompanying the text are critical thinking questions, an Assessment, and some have Guided Reading Mode. Choose the size of the font, listen to the Read Aloud (and pause it), translate to Spanish, and Highlight. Track student progress. You can search by Book, Genre, Grade Level, Literary Device, Text Set, Theme, and Spanish Texts. All of this for free! What else could one want? Well, you can also request a text, and they will negotiate with the copyright holders to have that text on their site. Take a look at their blog, too! You'll find lots of suggestions and thoughtful reflections for using nonfiction texts with your students.

tag(s): critical thinking (112), differentiation (85), literature (218), reading comprehension (142), spanish (105), substitutes (27), Teacher Utilities (150), themes (10)

In the Classroom

CommonLit is an excellent resource for literature teachers, speech and debate teachers, and history teachers. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and ask the class what themes they would like to investigate. Under each theme are two questions. Divide the class into small groups with each group investigating one of the questions for one of the themes and reading the accompanying text. Differentiate for students by having students read on the same theme, but at their reading level. Challenge individuals, pairs, or small groups to create a graphic organizer for the story they read replacing paper and pencil and using a tool like Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. You could take this to another level and have two groups read different selections on the same theme, use a graphic organizer to make comparisons for how the theme was presented, and then enhance learning by challenging the groups to present their findings to the class via video. Use a simple video creator like Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here. This site would also work when you have to make substitute plans unexpectedly. Just put the link in your plans and tell the sub what theme you want students to read about, or better yet, let the sub choose!
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Form Time Ideas - Jonathan Hall

Grades
5 to 9
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Form Time Ideas offers a constantly changing selection of daily quick activities in many subjects. (For American teachers, "form time" is roughly equivalent to "homeroom" time.) Choose...more
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Form Time Ideas offers a constantly changing selection of daily quick activities in many subjects. (For American teachers, "form time" is roughly equivalent to "homeroom" time.) Choose the Home Page to view a mix of topics such as Brainteasers, In the News Today, and Word of the Day. Select links to choose activities for only specific topics such as literacy, numeracy, or news. Easily print any page using the link in the top right corner of each section. If finished early, refresh the page for a new set of activities! You can also click on the button under each question to only refresh that particular question/statement. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. This is a perfect site for you to leave for your substitute for early finishers!

tag(s): grammar review (31), literacy (110), news (229), numbers (119), riddles (16), substitutes (27), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

Form Time Ideas is perfect for daily review and bell work as students arrive in class or as a quick review at the end of class. Print out different pages for use during quiet times or send home for absentee students to complete. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Substitutes will love the handy ideas on this site!

Comments

AWESOME RESOURCE! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Cartoons for the Classroom - The Association for American Editorial Cartoonists

Grades
6 to 12
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Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 400 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that...more
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Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 400 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that relate to those cartoons. Alternatively, download the cartoons alone along with space to "draw" your own conclusions. Also find an evaluation form for you and your students use. Click "Home" on the top left of the list to go to the home page and "Interactive Lessons - Updated Every Monday" (usually a political comment). A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about Thomas Nast and his cartoons of Boss Tweed during the 19th century to know that cartoons have a deep impact on political discourse.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (54), politics (113), satire (5)

In the Classroom

These one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to Weekly News Videos with prompts for discussion, and other information about political cartooning through history; most of these latter links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In an art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
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moovly - Brendon Grunewald

Grades
K to 12
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moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on ...more
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moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on "New Moov" to begin. Give your Moov a title and description then choose from templates offered or create your own Moov from scratch. Modify slides, text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Upload sounds from your computer in MP3 format: voice, music, or noises. These can be used in parallel, or click the microphone to record your voice. You can also make your moovly interactive by using Flash. Save and share via YouTube, Facebook, or email. You can also download to your computer using MP4 (video) or SWF format. Download the 28-page PDF guide for step-by-step directions and answers to specific questions. Emailing customer support will get you answers within 24 hours.

Click Solutions from the top menu bar, and choose For Educatin and then Teachers. This is the version of moovly that offers special FREE plans to teachers, students and employees with email addresses from educational email domains. Members from educational email domains known by moovly automatically get a free Education license. If your educational email address is not recognized on sign-up, you can request access. You can now search the VideoBlocks catalog of stock video, sound and graphics via the extended library search. And upload it into your story in just one click! Free accounts can create unlimited videos that are each ten minutes long. The intro videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): animation (62), communication (133), movies (51), multimedia (43), slides (42), video (260)

In the Classroom

Enhance learning and technology use by challenging older students to create their own moovs. Students can use moovly to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. Flip your classroom using moovly presentations. Use moovly to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to prepare information for the class when a substitute is coming. Embed moovly creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a moovly video on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use moovly to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create moovly book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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NameCoach - Praveen Shanbhag

Grades
K to 12
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Never mispronounce a name again, thanks to the help of NameCoach! Record names using your own computer or any other device. Add phonetic spelling or pronunciation tips. You can listen...more
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Never mispronounce a name again, thanks to the help of NameCoach! Record names using your own computer or any other device. Add phonetic spelling or pronunciation tips. You can listen to the names as often as you wish. Create your account to make lists for Back to School, award ceremonies, graduations, and much more. After creating your name page, share a link with peers through email or as a link on your class webpage or blog. Share the link in your substitute plans, too! Create a master list with sublists for use in different departments, classes, or for individual events.

tag(s): classroom management (126), pronunciation (33), substitutes (27)

In the Classroom

Create a master list of student names in your school or class using NameCoach. Provide a subset for different activities such as award ceremonies, after-school programs, or for student tutors. Share with your school's ENL/ELL teacher as an authentic way to learn and practice unfamiliar names. Provide this list (and URL) to any substitute coming to your classroom. Use it in world language classes to help students learn pronunciation of new names.

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Powtoon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Sign up for your free account then choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Next, start ...more
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Powtoon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Sign up for your free account then choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Next, start making magic! Create your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (62), digital storytelling (144), movies (51), multimedia (43), slides (42)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Free Math Worksheets - Pre-Algebra through Calculus - Kuta Software

Grades
7 to 12
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Find and print many worksheets for upper level math skills. Worksheets are divided by subject and content at this easy to navigate site. Subjects include Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra...more
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Find and print many worksheets for upper level math skills. Worksheets are divided by subject and content at this easy to navigate site. Subjects include Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Calculus. Choose your course then topic area to find a problem set. Click to print. View answers on a copy of the worksheet included.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (52), equations (120), exponents (35), factoring (25), factors (29), geometric shapes (136), inequalities (23), polynomials (20), quadratics (26), ratios (46), substitutes (27), transformations (12), volume (34)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year. Quickly download and print worksheets for review. Use with a substitute or for extra student practice. Share a link to the site on your class website for students to access at home for review and practice of concepts.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Vision of Humanity - Institute for Economics and Peace

Grades
6 to 12
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Sustainable Goal #16 is all about promoting peace and providing justice for all. View these interactive peace maps, reports, and news pertaining to peace around the world. A variety...more
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Sustainable Goal #16 is all about promoting peace and providing justice for all. View these interactive peace maps, reports, and news pertaining to peace around the world. A variety of qualitative and quantitative indicators are used to create a Global Peace Index. View changes from 2008 to present. Choose various indicators to portray on the map and compare different countries. Click in the middle of the map on "About the GPI" (or other index you have opened) to read how it is calculated. Be sure to check out the Terrorism Index as well as a US Peace Index that compares each of the States in the United States. Hover over that State to view the actual rank. When the site introduces a new topic, that topic appears on the main page of this site. To get to the other topics, use the top tool bar.

tag(s): countries (72), maps (207), states (122), sustainability (43), terrorism (41)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to brainstorm questions about the various indicators shown on this site. Substitute a digital idea bin for paper and pen using lino, reviewed here, that allows for stickies, images, and commenting. What cultural, religious, and political forces affect each of the countries and their resultant scores? What factors can be changed in each of the countries to improve their scores? Debate various policy changes in your own or other countries. Explore possible changes the world can take in order to provide a better life for all citizens of the world. What are many of the differences that exist among the states in the United States? Consider adding this resource when students complete a study of an individual state or country.

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Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): back to school (63), biographies (95), firstday (22), mysteries (20), printables (37), summarizing (22), word study (58)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity as a substitute for a paper and pen project. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EZVid - ezvid.com

Grades
K to 12
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EZVid is a video screencasting tool that captures everything that appears on your Windows computer screen. Once recorded, you can edit videos, add voice, add text, draw directly on...more
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EZVid is a video screencasting tool that captures everything that appears on your Windows computer screen. Once recorded, you can edit videos, add voice, add text, draw directly on the screen image, or control playback speed. Be sure to watch the video tutorial for all features. Upload finished videos directly to YouTube. Once uploaded, share using social networking links. At the time of this review, this tool was not compatible with a MAC. The website does offer some suggestions to MAC users (such as using Bootcamp). If your school blocks YouTube, you will not be able to use this site while at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (260)

In the Classroom

Use EZVid to record instructions for using websites. Share how to perform problems, step by step directions for any project, and much more. Leave a video message for your substitute teacher or even your class! Create a video message to share with parents about current projects, clips from field trips, and more. Share on your class website for students to view at home.

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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
7 to 12
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied. Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its URL, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer. The Terms of Use require students to be 13 to use this site.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), comics and cartoons (54), communication (133), images (257)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create Phase.it pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase.it images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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Lessons on American Presidents - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This American Presidents website contains lesson plans for teaching about each of the US presidents from Barack Obama all the way through George Washington. The site uses the informational...more
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This American Presidents website contains lesson plans for teaching about each of the US presidents from Barack Obama all the way through George Washington. The site uses the informational text about each president to teach, reinforce, and review English language concepts. This resource is directly geared toward ENL/ELL students. However, all users will benefit from materials provided. Choose any president to view a short biography. There are also language lessons such as fill in the blank and writing activities. Choose from links at the top of the page to print the lesson in PDF format, hear the article read in mp3 format, and view additional activities such as flash cards and word jumbles. There is some advertising, but this site is worth a look as a resource for activities and lessons about US presidents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): jefferson (18), kennedy (19), lincoln (60), presidents (122), reading comprehension (142), washington (25)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource to accompany US presidents units or to supplement current materials used in teaching about the presidents. This is a great tool to use in English/language arts class for nonfiction readings. For younger students and weak readers you may want to use a guided reading tool such as Read Ahead, reviewed here. If you want to remove distracting advertisements, use a tool such as Readability Test Tool, reviewed here. Print activities and biographies about several different presidents to add to your substitute folder. Share this site with ENL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource for materials.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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