Online Tools: Suggestions from TeachersFirst

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

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

 

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CuePrompter.com: The Online Teleprompter - Hannu Multanen

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
This handy online tool (Windows only--sorry) makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or log in is required. Just...more
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This handy online tool (Windows only--sorry) makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or log in is required. Just open the site and copy/paste in the text from a word doc (or type it in, but there is no way to SAVE it on the site). We recommend keeping your text ready-to-copy/paste and saved in another program. Set the font size and screen size to large or small. When you are ready to "speak," click the "start prompter" button. The speed controls are at the top of the screen. Remember that F11 will make any web page full screen without menus and toolbars. If you are fortunate enough to have a rear projection screen, the text can even be reversed. Anyone who wants scrolling text can just paste and go. The maximum text length is 2000 characters, but you could always have a second window ready and switch mid-speech. See System Requirements if you cannot get it to work.

tag(s): fluency (23), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Why bother with this one? Lots of reasons! Once they see it, your students are sure to come up with more, but here is a start: Try making a sample dialog for students to follow out loud as your project it in a foreign language or ESL/ELL class. Be sure to write in script format so they know who is speaking! Or share this tool with students who need help getting their nose out of their notes in presenting speeches. They can run it on a laptop only they can see and look out at the audience past the prompter. The comfort of having their text right there will ease many butterflies.

An alternate use: build reading fluency by having students read aloud from this tech-tool. They will be FAR more motivated to read up to speed! Speech clinicians may want to try it for articulation practice, as well.

Comments

While this is a great tool. I found http://www.freeteleprompter.org/ much easier to use. Cueprompter looks rather cluttered and dated. Just my 2 cents as you guys would say. Dave, , Grades: 6 - 12

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Tiny URL - Gilby Productions

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far ...more
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This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far more easily on your teacher web page, in your handouts, or on your blackboard for students to enter.

In the Classroom

If you make a map in Google Maps, an online graphic organizer, a set of online flash cards, to anything else that allows you to share my emailing or copying a URL, this tools will save you from endless errors or emails full of ten-line URLs. Be sure to show your middle and high school students how to use it, as well. This will solve the problem of URLs that get split and no longer work when the text wraps around to another line.

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Tools and Templates - Education World

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice ...more
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice breakers, back to school, graphic organizers and parent-teacher communication.

tag(s): back to school (58), calendars (44), classroom management (135), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Check out the icebreakers for the first day of school, and back to school sections for many ideas and ready to use templates. Remember that if you want to SAVE a file from a download, you should RIGHT-click the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer.

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Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators - Teachers Helpers - Assessment & Rubric Information - discoveryschool.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
If you want to learn more about rubrics, find the perfect "ready to go" rubric for almost any subject or project, or create your own original rubric - you will ...more
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If you want to learn more about rubrics, find the perfect "ready to go" rubric for almost any subject or project, or create your own original rubric - you will find everything at this one-stop shop. Find the best rubrics "out there" on the web. The general topics of this website include "Student Web Page Rubrics", "Subject Specific and General Rubrics", "Multimedia Rubrics", "Rubric Builders, Generators, and Support", "Educator Technology Skills and Rubrics", and other areas of interest. There are also articles of interest to explain what a rubric is, why they are useful in the classroom, and other pertinent information.

tag(s): assessment (100)

In the Classroom

Although this website is plain vanilla (basically a list of resources). The list is phenomenal and includes an eclectic mix of many types of rubrics and assessments.

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Rubric Maker - Recipes4Success

Grades
K to 12
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This handy online tool allows you to create customized rubrics "on the fly" for any subject or project. You can print the rubrics directly from the website. You choose the ...more
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This handy online tool allows you to create customized rubrics "on the fly" for any subject or project. You can print the rubrics directly from the website. You choose the age level (primary, elementary, middle, or high school) and input the name of your rubric. Then a blank rubric appears for you to fill in the details. The blank rubric includes space for the criteria, plus a range to rate (gradations) the quality of the students' work. There are also ready-made rubrics you can print out. The website provides explicit direction about how to use the website (they are in PDF).

tag(s): assessment (100)

In the Classroom

Use these free rubrics with any grade level and any subject area. Note that in the free version you LOSE your work when you close the page, so make sure you have printed first!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rubric Maker - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
This online tool allows you to assess student work by creating an original rubric. Users are able to enter up to 10 skills. Each of the skills is scored on ...more
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This online tool allows you to assess student work by creating an original rubric. Users are able to enter up to 10 skills. Each of the skills is scored on a 5-point scale (5: Proficient, 4: Capable, 3: Satisfactory, 2: Emerging, and 1: Beginning). This is an excellent tool to individualize and differentiate instruction. Parents will be pleased to see specific areas of strength and areas of need. The Rubric Maker could be used with any grade level and in any subject area.

tag(s): assessment (100)

In the Classroom

Use this FREE online tool to create individualized or leveled rubrics for your class assignments in any subject.

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Bibme - team exibeans

Grades
6 to 12
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who ...more
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who don't remember all the information for the source you cited. BibMe allows you to search from a database of millions of entries to find your source and autofill in the information. If you have the source in front of you, you can enter your entries manually. BibMe also offers resources to help you cite your work properly in the 'Citation Guide' section. It offers examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago formatting, making it useful for a wide variety of schools. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" bibliographies.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

This is a great tool for students who are both learning to cite correctly and as a helpful tool for those who forget some of the "little" things that count when writing a bibliography. It offers a great example, too, of the difference between what is in a "Works Cited" page and what actually appears in the text as a citation. Teachers can use this on a Smartboard or simply through a computer lab or projector to demonstrate the correct way to cite as well as mistakes to avoid. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students finishing reports in the wee hours of the morning on the due date. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" example bibliographies. If you assign independent projects to your gifted students (or any student), be sure to make Bibme part of your instructions so they learn to organize their sources early on. If students are allowed to set up individual accounts, this tool is worth the time! They must be 13 or have parent permission.

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Leveled Books Database - A to Z Teacher Stuff

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This comprehensive database for determining the level of books is a MUST for elementary and reading teachers. Just type in the book's title, and this handy tool tells you ...more
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This comprehensive database for determining the level of books is a MUST for elementary and reading teachers. Just type in the book's title, and this handy tool tells you the level for guided reading, Accelerated Reader, and/or Reading Recovery.

tag(s): guided reading (47)

In the Classroom

Two warnings:
1. This site is still being developed; however, the database of books is vast.
2. This site does not give the lexile level of the books. For teachers using lexile leveling, it is disappointing.
The usefulness of knowing the level of books for guided reading, AR, or RR deems the site very worthy, especially since it is so fast and easy to use. The site offers to connect you to Amazon to buy the books, but simply being able to look up books you already have is very helpful--- and free! TeachersFirst members who teach reading will certainly want to make it a Favorite.

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Word Shape Generator - A to Z Teacher Stuff Tools

Grades
1 to 4
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Teachers can generate their own personalized word wall worksheet, customized to the words they enter. This online tool allows you to generate word shape worksheets with the word list...more
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Teachers can generate their own personalized word wall worksheet, customized to the words they enter. This online tool allows you to generate word shape worksheets with the word list at the top of the page and the word shapes below. Students then fill in the appropriate word from their word list.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Special education teachers, ESL teachers, or regular teachers with students who are dysgraphically- or dyslexically-challenged will find this a valuable tool. Any student who learns visually would find this helpful in learning their spelling words. This tool generates the worksheet quickly.

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Magic Vocabulary - Viktor Gayol

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool and vocabulary site creates up to thirteen games, puzzles, and worksheets from a word list the teacher inputs on the home page. The working database contains about...more
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This online tool and vocabulary site creates up to thirteen games, puzzles, and worksheets from a word list the teacher inputs on the home page. The working database contains about 2000 English singular words, but doesn't include abstract nouns. There are some ready-made activities already done for you as examples: body parts, Christmas, family, feelings, foods, and more. Typical activities include findaword, matching, multiple choice quizzes, memory, word scrambles, and labeling. There is a charge for subscription to the services, but users who recommend someone to this site receive a one-year subscription free. One caution: set the speed to "tortoise" on the "STOP" game. Even adults can't click the mouse fast enough above that speed!page. This site requires QuickTime to hear the audio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox. .

tag(s): puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this for a center with vocabulary review activities in any primary classroom or with speech and language or special ed students for vocabulary development. Using it in ESL classes will also be great, even on an interactive whiteboard with a small group. Students can also use the games on their own to practice vocabulary outside of class, so be sure to include the link on your teacher web page.

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instacalc - instacalc

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool lets you create(or "share" someone else's existing) online calculations/spreadsheets. You can also display instant graphs of the spreadsheet contents. The spreadsheets...more
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This online tool lets you create(or "share" someone else's existing) online calculations/spreadsheets. You can also display instant graphs of the spreadsheet contents. The spreadsheets are displayed in terms that ordinary people can understand and allow you to "plug in" numbers to see instant results. Some of the shared calculators already online are surface area and volume of geometric solids, interest calculators, body mass index, and more sophisticated business functions. The best way to see how the site works is to read through their "tour" then click to browse through the examples, especially the shared ones. Even if you never create your own, this tool is great!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), calculators (41), conversions (23), multiplication (227)

In the Classroom

Visit the site and observe how the shared examples work. If you find one you like, you can get the link (try the little disk icon) to go directly to it. If you are feeling more adventurous, try creating one of your own, perhaps for calculating the class average on a test. Your web-savvy students will love this tool for collaborative lab reports or graphs of statistics. For safety's sake do not use any student names or information if you share calcs online.
 

Edge Features:

Products can be embedded

 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Handwriting Generator - A to Z Teacher Stuff

Grades
K to 1
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Create your own handwriting worksheets--customized any way you wish. Five practice lines with dotted lettering is provided on each worksheet. Teachers choose the words, font style,...more
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Create your own handwriting worksheets--customized any way you wish. Five practice lines with dotted lettering is provided on each worksheet. Teachers choose the words, font style, paper positioning, and then create their own written instructions, for customized handwriting worksheets. Having this handwriting generator allows you to incorporate handwriting into your various units of study. If you are inept at handwriting yourself, this free technology does it for you...perfectly.

tag(s): handwriting (18), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Share this on your teacher web page for students and parents to practice at home with this week's spelling words. You can also project the "worksheets" onto your interactive whiteboard for a tactile approach to teaching the letters as students "magically" trace them -- with their fingers acting as the interactive whiteboard pen. For students with weak fine motor skills, this "finger" practice may help them before they can quite hold the pencil well.

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Fun Activities at Your Library - American Library Association

Grades
K to 5
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This page of fun activities to help children become more familiar with and more involved in using the school library includes making and printing out bookmarks, taking part in ...more
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This page of fun activities to help children become more familiar with and more involved in using the school library includes making and printing out bookmarks, taking part in scavenger hunts, and finishing a story about the library (Mad Libs). It even includes a rap song about the library. Downloadable Word documents have all the details.

In the Classroom

School librarians and reading teachers will want to use these activity offerings to familiarize children with the library. Make your library a happenin' place with a bookmark contest!

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Google Drive - Google

Grades
6 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Google Drive to create and save your Google Docs. With Google Docs, you can create, edit, reformat, upload, and share documents you've created in WORD or other office applications....more
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Use Google Drive to create and save your Google Docs. With Google Docs, you can create, edit, reformat, upload, and share documents you've created in WORD or other office applications. You can also look at the editing history. Perhaps the best feature is the ability to collaborate on documents and spreadsheets with anyone or with a selected group. Groups share editing capabilities, making collaboration much easier. You can publish newly created, uploaded, downloaded, or revised documents and spreadsheets as well as making links to them on personal blogs. Easy directions and familiar-looking pages make exporting and importing documents simple; Google also helps keep you organized.

tag(s): editing (61), spreadsheets (17)

In the Classroom

A "tour" and simple to understand directions make this site easy to use. Have your students set up collaborative groups for projects, lab data, and more. Or set them up yourself, giving them specific passwords to access their "space." Help your gifted students stay organized (and collaborate) using this tool. Users are normally invited to "join" via an email message. This may be problematic in the many schools that do not permit student email access at school. Note that notifications sent by Google Docs may also land in "junk mail" folders or be blocked by spam filters. We suggest that you experiment with a small group of students to determine what will work in your particular situation. One option is to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member" but have students work from home, using their personal email addresses, for group projects. Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy. Anything students can do on a single computer, they can do collaboratively on Google docs, accessing their work from any online computer.

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Handwriting Worksheet Maker - Tampareads.com

Grades
K to 4
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This incredible tool makes handwriting worksheets. Users have the choice of creating basic print, D'Nealian style or cursive. The user writes in the words for the worksheet and ...more
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This incredible tool makes handwriting worksheets. Users have the choice of creating basic print, D'Nealian style or cursive. The user writes in the words for the worksheet and then they can print the document.

tag(s): handwriting (18), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Utilize this creative tool to make customized handwriting papers for your class! Use passages from stories you have just read, sentences your class composes on science or social studies topics (maybe on your whiteboard?), or trade off poems that your own students write to make handwriting practice more meaningful in context.

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Math Worksheet Generator - The Canadian Teacher

Grades
1 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Use this set of simple online tools to generate worksheets for everything from magic squares to converting fractions, decimals, and percents. You set the requirements for the worksheet,...more
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Use this set of simple online tools to generate worksheets for everything from magic squares to converting fractions, decimals, and percents. You set the requirements for the worksheet, add a title and directions, and the generator "makes" the sheet, ready for you to print and copy for classroom use. Topics include: premade sheets from Gr 1-4, flashcards, math bingo, metric conversion, multiplication charts, Least Common Multiple,Greatest Common Factor, Exponents, and more. Teachers from Gr 1 to pre-algebra can use this one!

In the Classroom

After you print the worksheet and before you close the page, be sure you click to generate the answer sheet! Share this link on your teacher web page for parents and students to make practice activities for at-home review. Be sure to include directions on your web page for what settings students should use (number of decimal places, for example).

Younger students will love "playing teacher" and making sheets at home for their parents or for each other at school. If they check the answers manually, they will practice, too! Suggest this idea to elementary parents at conferences and give your students some stickers to "correct" their parents work!

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Graphic Organizer Maker - Recipes4Success/Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This handy online tool lets you create customized graphic organizers "on the fly" and print them from the web site. There is a paid version of the site, but this ...more
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This handy online tool lets you create customized graphic organizers "on the fly" and print them from the web site. There is a paid version of the site, but this FREE tool lets you choose the type of organizer you want, customize the Title and Directions, and print. Organizer types include Venn diagrams, KWL, scientific method, and many more. Learning support teachers will want to use this for students to create study materials.

In the Classroom

Use these printed organizers as study support for any content area topic. Many are excellent options for reinforcing reading skills in the content areas, even for senior high students. Include this on your teacher web page so students can create their own organizers to study for tests or prepare presentations.

To make a new organizer, simply click "new," write title and directions, and print the small "print" icon. It may be easiest to take their default directions and change them for your purposes. Note that you LOSE your work when you close the page, so make sure you have printed first!

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Juicy Studio: Readability Test

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Use this fabulous website to check readability levels on web sites before you assign them to your students or include them in a webquest. Open TWO windows on the internet: ...more
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Use this fabulous website to check readability levels on web sites before you assign them to your students or include them in a webquest. Open TWO windows on the internet: one for possible web sites and one with this tool, ready to go. Simply copy and paste the URL (web address)from the address bar when you are looking at the web page you want students to use. Paste it into the space on this site and click "Calculate Readability." Juicy Studio will give you a Gunning Fog Index score and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade level for the web page you provided. Be sure to read the explanations of what these scores mean! Note: This tool does not check an entire SITE, just the actual page you were looking at when you copied the URL. To be sure your students can read the entire site, select a page that is text-intense as the one you "test." As in any content reading book, illustrations, captions, and other graphics will help your students "read" any page, but sometimes they just need to be able to read the words!

tag(s): readability (8)

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Easy Test Maker - EasyTestMaker

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
Use this handy online tool to generate tests using a variety of formats - multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true and false, short answers, and more. Just complete a free registration,...more
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Use this handy online tool to generate tests using a variety of formats - multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true and false, short answers, and more. Just complete a free registration, then start creating and customizing your assessment. Follow the prompts to select font size and style, choose a format, enter each question and answer, and print the test and answer key. Your tests are saved online and can be easily accessed or edited from anywhere.

tag(s): quiz (85)

Comments

This used to be a great program - but they did a stupid upgrade that no longer allows me to cut and paste AT ALL! This makes it useless. Wendy, , Grades: 9 - 12

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Print Free Graph Paper

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This site allows you to create and print different types of graph paper in a PDF format. The site is easy to use and takes you through each step needed. ...more
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This site allows you to create and print different types of graph paper in a PDF format. The site is easy to use and takes you through each step needed. First choose the type of graph paper from the eight different offerings including Cartesian (the most popular) and hexagonal. Next choose paper size, measuring units (inches or millimeters), then choose the paper created from the list offered. Just print after the graph paper is created.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

Save the site as a link for quick printing of graph paper when needed. Provide the link to students and parents to use at home when graph paper is needed. Quickly print graphs onto transparency film to use on overhead projectors.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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