TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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Ge.tt - Mathis and Tobias, Ge.tt Founders

Grades
6 to 12
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Ge.tt is an easy to use tool for file sharing via the web. One user can still be uploading while his friends are downloading from his files. This eliminates the ...more
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Ge.tt is an easy to use tool for file sharing via the web. One user can still be uploading while his friends are downloading from his files. This eliminates the need for flash drives if you have access to the Internet. You can work from remote locations to create collaborative projects for home, work, or school. This is a free service with free sign up and 2GB of free storage space.

In the Classroom

When assigning group projects to be worked on outside of class, have students share work via Ge.tt. This eliminates the need to actually be in the same place at the same time, which can be difficult for students to arrange due to their schedules and their parents' schedules. Use this to have students share files with you. Students can send you any file up to 2GB with a few simple clicks. Use this as an extra file back-up when transporting files for a grad presentation or other important event.

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Bounce - ZURB

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6 to 12
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Bounce allows you to upload from your computer or grab an image from the web to share with others. Make "bouncing around" on the web easier and more directed by ...more
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Bounce allows you to upload from your computer or grab an image from the web to share with others. Make "bouncing around" on the web easier and more directed by guiding people to what you want them to see. Once you grab or upload an image (screenshot), you can add notes and comments. Share via email or using the url on the page. Free registration is required to be able to share links, view projects, and collaborate.

tag(s): images (275)

In the Classroom

Create a detailed and guided "web quest" for students. This way they cannot be confused about what they should be looking for on a page; they can simply look for your comments and find their information. Help special education students and others keep track of and organize what they have found on the web for research projects. This would be an excellent tool for showing and teaching reading comprehension. Assign students a web article or story and have them notate it with their pre reading questions, main idea sentences or summaries of what they have read. They can share their links with you as an assignment submission or for others to view. Use Bounce for students to critique or analyze bias or misinformation on websites as part of an information literacy unit. Students could also use a picture of an animal or plant and add the taxonomical information to it in science class and create a "web trail" of insects using Bounce as an alternative to an old fashioned insect project. Collect and annotate from all over the web!

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Natural Reader - Natural Soft Limited

Grades
1 to 12
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes ...more
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes written text from MS Word, emails, Internet Explorer, scanned books, or even images from a camera phone and turns it into spoken text. Just highlight the section you want read aloud, and your choice of voice will read it aloud. The voice choice and speed are adjustable. Turning written text into MP3 or WAV files is another option. Typing/pasting in the text box allows any text to be read aloud. A floating tool bar allows the downloadable software to be available all the time at on easy click. A free trial version is available for both Mac and Windows, with more deluxe versions available. Educational discounts and volume discounts do apply. This is the teacher's aid that needs to be in all classrooms. You must be able to install software to put this Reader on your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): learning disability (15), learning styles (21), text to speech (19), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Bring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Morguefile - Kevin and Michael Connors, Johannes Seemann

Grades
4 to 12
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed...more
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site," though they do request that proper credit be given (see "about"). Enter your search term and refine your search to find images in various categories, size, color, and other options. Click on the image to go to its own page. Save on your computer by clicking Download. Inappropriate images can be reported on this page as well. Create a login to use an organizer to manage photos you have found. Be sure to check out the portfolio tab to view other photos as well as the Classroom tab. Use the Classroom tab to learn about cameras, lenses, and taking better photographs.
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tag(s): copyright (50), images (275), photography (161), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Use this site in every subject area where images can convey concepts or students make projects. Find free images easily for use within the classroom. Use images for drag and drop activities on IWB, such as sorting vegetables from fruits, etc. In Art class, have students find images to demonstrate different design concepts such as rhythm, line, etc. Project an intriguing photo on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a writing prompt for a short story (or poem). Use images for practice writing in world languages, by having students describe the scene or tell a story about it. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Let's Crate - Sahil Lavingia and Dan Loewenherz

Grades
K to 12
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Package your files (or groups of files) for sharing in "crates" simply by dragging and dropping them in place. After dropping them into the crate, the files are uploaded. Use ...more
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Package your files (or groups of files) for sharing in "crates" simply by dragging and dropping them in place. After dropping them into the crate, the files are uploaded. Use the links then provided to share your files with others. The free account has a limited number of 6 crates and 1,000 files that may be uploaded. Easily share documents with others in the class. Though not a complete back-up of all your documents, Let's Crate can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any Word files, slides, or videos can be shared via Let's Crate.
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tag(s): images (275), slides (64), video (275)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. Use this resource to upload files for access at school later. (Be sure to make sure that this site is not blocked by the district first.) The possibilities here are endless - any subject area, any level, any topic!

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WeeBehave - Wee Behave

Grades
K to 12
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WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit...more
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WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit from using this online tool.

tag(s): autism (19), behavior (47), classroom management (153), organizational skills (127), parents (61)

In the Classroom

Start your year off right! Set up an account using WeeBehave. Special education teachers can set up weekly progress monitoring using this website. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students on their roster. Have regular education teachers with these students set up accounts, complete weekly data, and then print or take a snap shot of the week's chart and email it to the teacher in charge of tracking the student's data. Or have students who are struggling with following the rules set up charts to evaluate themselves, comparing their ratings with the teacher's charts. This would allow for a quality discussion about differences between what students think of their behavior and how others see it. Please keep in mind if planning to share charts with anyone other than yourself (teacher) and the student's parents, you should use codes or fictitious names to protect student identity. Assign a code that has no relationship to the child or student ID.

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Stich - Stich.it

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive ...more
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive text found at the top of each slide and written by the user. Follow the helpful information along the side for using Stich.

tag(s): bookmarks (65)

In the Classroom

Use Stich.it for Internet scavenger hunts. Create a Stich with all the links needed to complete a project or for the entire unit. Students can create a Stich that showcases the websites that they used to complete an assignment or project. Use this with even the youngest students by sharing a Stich on your class website for students and parents to explore. Make a Stich of sites to learn to count, a stich for sites to learn the branches of government, a stich of sites to learn about tough biology concepts, a stich of sites to practice trigonometry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine!

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Tin Eye - Idee Inc.

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to ...more
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Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to find out where else an image is in use on the Internet. To use this simple and free service: upload or enter the link to an image on the Internet. Tineye will search the Internet to find the same image even if it has been rotated, altered or cropped by using image recognition technology. What a terrific way to discover the origin of an image or find those using it without permission. Note that the maximum upload size is 1 MB. Use this free service without registering. Create an account to use other features such as saving your searches. Registration does require email verification. Download the applet for Firefox or Chrome for ability to instantly use the service. You must have the ability to install browser add-ons to use the add-on version of the tool.
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tag(s): images (275), photography (161), plagiarism (35), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

This tool is best used by a teacher to determine whether class pictures have been used elsewhere or determine the origin of pictures students have used in projects. Check the origin of student-used pictures to determine source. Determine whether pictures (yours or others) have been used without permission. Easily determine whether pictures have also been altered.

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Shelfari - Amazon

Grades
4 to 12
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Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can...more
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Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can read, write and edit plot summaries, popular quotes, character descriptions and more than a dozen other types of book factoids. The site can be searched without registration; however, free registration is required to create a virtual bookshelf. (Although they do not openly "advertise," Amazon obviously hopes this site will inspire you to buy more books. If you feel so moved, we hope you will make your purchase by entering through the Amazon search at the bottom of this page so TeachersFirst can benefit from the donations Amazon makes to our non-profit service as a result of your purchase.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (133), book reports (37), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Before or after reading classroom novels, pull up the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector to view what others have written about the book. Create a classroom account and your own virtual bookshelf as a resource for students to find books that they will enjoy. Create different bookshelves by subject, genre, etc. Show this site on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how to use the site and find books of interest. Use examples on the site, then have students create their own book summaries (using this site's format) using Google Docs reviewed here. Add the Shelfari widget to your classroom website or blog for easy access for students.

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Just Paste It - JustPaste.it

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage...more
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JustPaste.it is a quick, online way to share text and images with others. It features an easy-to-use text editor with text formatting function. Just paste text from another webpage or word processor and text formatting and images will be preserved. By using the "Upload images" module you can easily add new graphics to your notes. If you have written your note originally using a word processor: Microsoft Word, MS Works or Open Office, simply upload it to the server using "Import from file" function. Text formatting and graphics will be preserved. When finished creating your text, click Publish to receive the html code, forum code, and url link. Or create your own custom url through the Custom page name option at the top right. Notes can also be edited through the link provided after publication. The finished product can also be easily saved as a PDF file, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the save to PDF link. This tool is simpler than setting up a Google Docs account, since it does not require email registration.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (275), note taking (38)

In the Classroom

Copy and paste important information found on websites while viewing as a class into Just Paste It, then save as a pdf for students to have a hard copy or share a link to the information through your classroom website or blog. Challenge students to create their own "Paste It" to use to take research notes, write study notes for vocabulary, or many other uses. Have students create individual pages as part of classroom projects then share them using a tool such as Padlet (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board to use to display information learned. Why would a teacher share text or images this way? Teachers can offer an assignment, a writing prompt, a vocab list, a story starter, handout, or even a permission slip for parents to download, print, and sign.

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Mail Catch - Net-Core.org

Grades
5 to 12
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where...more
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where students must sign up individually using an email address. This is the spam, update, and junk email dumping ground! Files are deleted on a regular basis. If there is something you need to check for site log in purposes, be sure to check it the day that the email is sent and save the information to a document on your computer. The genius of this site is that it is temporary but completely functional for protecting individual identities. Protect your own "real" email, too! Note that any "disposable" email address can be used by others at any time, so using a more unique address will decrease the likelihood that others have used the same one. Be clever!
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tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a "Mailcatch" address in the beginning of the school year as part of your introductory lesson on acceptable use procedures. Once that email is chosen, they can use it every time they need to sign up for a website that requires an email. After they have used it in your class, show them how to check the mail by typing in their "address" into the web page. Here they can see their email, such as membership confirmations.
 

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Print what you like - printwhatyoulike.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Hate to waste paper? Use this free resource to print web pages without wasted white space, ads, or extra pages. Enter the URL (web address) of the website you wish ...more
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Hate to waste paper? Use this free resource to print web pages without wasted white space, ads, or extra pages. Enter the URL (web address) of the website you wish to print, rearrange the elements, and print! To rearrange, edit the items on the left navigation bar. Choose to show or hide the background, images, or margins. Change the font or font size. Save your changes as a pdf for later viewing. Create an account for more features such as "change sets" which allow your formatting options to be applied to other pages from the same website and clips. Use the clips or pieces from various web pages to create a simple page that houses them all. Add the bookmarklet to your browser by simply dragging it to your toolbar. Be sure to check out the demo and videos.

tag(s): conservation (128)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to save paper and printing ink. Teach students to remove unwanted images and change margins to fit the content on a page. Be sure students save the page as a pdf to view and print again later if needed. Model an environmentally friendly classroom with the use of this resource. Be sure to check with your tech department on the ability to add bookmarklets to the browser toolbar. This resource can be used without signing up - a bonus for the classroom! Use this when technology access is low or you want to print an activity for students to do when you are not there to supervise the technology use. Create in-class reading from blogs or other websites appropriate for your classroom. Make a pdf that can be opened on your interactive whiteboard without all the ads and clutter of the web page so students can annotate, highlight, and even practice reading comprehension skills such as "main idea." List this link on your class website for families to try at home! Use it to share articles with parents, as well--as long as you model proper behavior by giving credit. Best practice ALWAYS includes a url and title/author on any printed article from the web.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plagium - Septet Systems

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Identify plagiarized work quickly and easily with this free site. Simply copy and paste your text into the text box. Click the checkboxes to search over the web or the ...more
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Identify plagiarized work quickly and easily with this free site. Simply copy and paste your text into the text box. Click the checkboxes to search over the web or the news as well as advanced search options in different languages and other features. View results in a timeline form as well as summaries of where the passages are on the web. Click the links in the summary to go directly to the pages. Click "Check URL" along the top left. Enter a URL instead of copying and pasting text if your document is on a specific web page. Create an alert to enter your text found on the web. Plagium checks the web and alerts you when it has been used. This feature requires registration.
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tag(s): copyright (50), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Use Plagium for free without login unless you need advanced features such as ongoing alerts for plagiarism of your material by others. Use this service to check for student plagiarism in assigned work. Have students demonstrate it on interactive whiteboard or projector as you teach about plagiarism and/or evaluating web sources. This is a powerful way to show how difficult it is to determine original content on the web. Students will also find this tool useful in checking whether their sources are legitimate. Students may find this a useful service to be sure their own work is not plagiarized.

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SimilarSites - Similar Group

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an alternative site to one you are unable to access or use? Use SimilarSites to search types of sites and read recommended replacements. View the title, description, and...more
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Looking for an alternative site to one you are unable to access or use? Use SimilarSites to search types of sites and read recommended replacements. View the title, description, and click on the URL to go directly to the site. Click on review to provide a review of the original site being compared. While older students can use this site themselves, teachers of younger students could also find this tool useful as a professional resource to find sources/replacements. The site uses the keywording that site creators provide and other metadata to find the "similar" sites.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Find similar sites such as for photo editing, etc. when in the need of a new resource. Allow students time to look at the alternatives and make a choice based on their needs and availability. Create a class discussion about certain aspects of the sites being analyzed. Art teachers can use this tool to find artist portfolios to share -- and to avoid sites with art content you had best not to share in a school setting!
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iRubric - Reazon Systems, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great ...more
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Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great project ideas!) Search the type of rubric or project to find a related rubric. Use the buttons at the bottom to preview, edit (customize and save your own version from existing ones), or copy. Share by URL or embed code in a wiki, blog, or site. Keep bookmarked rubrics in your account on the site. Create free personal or group accounts (for educators). Create classes, join educator groups, and more.

tag(s): assessment (108), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

To save rubrics and modify existing ones, educators must create an account. Find great project ideas, rubric examples and criteria. Build on the expertise of others to create excellent rubrics. Consider creating categories and using the advice of students to help identify criteria that is important to the project. You might even want to create differentiated rubrics to match multiple intelligences, learning styles, or varied ability levels. With such easy adaptations, you can start alter different versions very easily.

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Portfoliovillage - Site Maker Software Company

Grades
4 to 12
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and ...more
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and drop editor makes it easy. There are also editable flash widgets and the thousands of stock images and animations. You can create a flash portfolio website with media rich components: videos, audio, a play list, create forms, chats, and blogs. Be sure to watch the introduction video and read about the features provided.

PortfolioVillage must be updated every six months to stay free. Your portfolio will be deleted if not updated.

For those of you with iPads, this Flash site won't work for you. However, you might try Google Swiffy reviewed here. Google Swiffy is a tool that lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone.

tag(s): creativity (120), portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

There are a gazillion ways to use an eportfolio! Have your students upload their current and past work that they think they might want to showcase. They can have an area for all their different talents whether it is drawing, writing, acting, creating games or codes, designing anything, or athletic prowess. Students could create an online presence to share in college or job applications.

You may want to start out slowly, allowing your students to choose a talent that may fit within traditional curriculum. Have students select several pieces to demonstrate their talent and upload it to a working portfolio. You can then have the students reflect on each piece in writing. Students should then choose one artifact to showcase; have them write about why that was their choice. The eportfolio can be presented in class by students using a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Teachers who have students for more than one year (such as in a gifted program or Art classes) can encourage students to show growth in their talents.

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Strike - Zurb

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL ...more
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Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL of your list to return later. Mark list items as completed by dragging them to the left or right of the list window or simply check them off. Double click the list item to edit it as needed then click off of it to save. Send the url for your list to collaborate with others. See what others have done by clicking on the small person icon across the top. When making changes, enter your name, and the site keeps track of who completed specific items. What a great twist on your "to do" list.

tag(s): organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use this simple tool to create "to do" lists for group projects or research. Be sure to spend time breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. This is a great tool to help students learn time management when organizing a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be known and the best steps to take to complete the project. Organize tasks and set due dates to assist students in being timely completing projects. Use the tool together a few times on a projector or interactive whiteboard, returning to check off items, then have student groups try it as they do projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers at all levels will appreciate this tool for professional organization of their own tasks, especially during busy times like report cards!

Comments

Excellent for time management, long term projects, even personal projects! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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Google Swiffy - Google

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders ...more
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This tool lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone. Choose the file, then upload and convert. Swiffy renders a product that is very good, with a slightly larger file size than the original. This simple to use, one step solution provides an alternative for viewing Flash based ads and animations. This site is unable to convert files that contain audio.

tag(s): computers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to convert animations or other items needed in class to a file that students can view on their non-Flash devices such as iTouch or iPad.
 

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (37), editing (70), essays (22), grammar (214), plagiarism (35), proofreading (25), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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