Ideas and resources for parent conferences

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents at conferences or suggested activities to share at conference time. Read "In the Classroom" ideas to display and other creative approaches for parent conferences. Parents will appreciate your sharing of educator-reviewed resources at conferences and on your TeachersFirst public page so you can work as a team in support of their child's learning.

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MightyText - MightyText.net

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. ...more
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Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. Text directly from Google Chrome! Easily sync your videos and images from your phone to computer or tablet. Why use this tool? Managing and responding to texts on the computer is easier when you use power view and can see all conversations at the same time. Additional features include texting from your Gmail account, editing photos using filters, and receiving alerts about the battery life of your phone. If you are an iPhone/Mac/iPad user, you already have similar functionality built in with iMessage.

tag(s): chat (51), classroom management (130)

In the Classroom

Manage texts to students and teachers from your computer or tablet using MightyText. View texts easily on your computer. Send texts to parents reminding them of upcoming conferences. Remind students of project deadlines or tests. Have a snow day? Send students the work so they have less homework the following day. If a student is absent, text the assignments to their device.

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Writing Reviser - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to ...more
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to use the features and how to revise your writing. You do have to join to be able to see anything beyond the general demo video. Once logged in, you can paste in an essay, explaining your intended audience and purpose. There is automated feedback about organization, style, and grammar. See statistics about your writing and discover things to improve and revise. You can delve into very specific aspects of your writing, such as verbs, pronouns, cliches, sentence variety, power sentences, and much more. The explanations are a little bit text-heavy, but they are very helpful. There is also free access to the Writing Planner and Writing Drafter from this tool. Explore the entire writing process at your fingertips!

tag(s): editing (58), process writing (40), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Give students the benefits of immediate feedback. Use this formative tool to help students focus on their purpose, audience, structure, and use of language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). Start with whole-group instruction by projecting the demo, and work on one strategy at a time. Suggest individual areas for each student or let each one decide on an area of personal writing "need." You might want to start with Sentence Power (verbs). Show students the "About" and how to change "was" to an active verb. Allow students time to work on their own sentence power before moving to the next revision strategy or letting them choose another. Once the students know the program, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll your students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. In 2014, SAS plans to develop a teacher "dashboard."

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Bringit - Lisa Bouchard and Charles Forcey

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets...more
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets for easy online access. (Those signing up do not need a Bringit account.) Add items, times, tasks, or whatever you need to your sign up sheet. Share the link using the URL or share through social networking links. Customize your sign up sheet to allow others to add information if desired. Two days before the date of the event, those who sign up will receive an automated reminder.

tag(s): organizational skills (121)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for your high school club or sports team to organize their own events.

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School Robins - EduKey

Grades
K to 12
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Collate and gather "round robin" information using email conversations at School Robins. After creating an account, create an information request for a specific student name...more
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Collate and gather "round robin" information using email conversations at School Robins. After creating an account, create an information request for a specific student name or class. Send the request to chosen staff members by clicking the "Round Robin" button. Once responses arrive, view all information in an easy to view table format. Other options include sending reminders, requesting updates, and uploading a staff or class list directly from your computer. Be sure to view the Quick Start Guide for full details on how to use School Robins. Free accounts allow individual users to send two free Round Robin information requests per month.

tag(s): classroom management (130), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Use School Robins as an excellent communication tool for use with students who see multiple teachers. Send a request to other teachers for information when preparing for parent teacher conferences, IEP conferences or progress reports, filling out report cards, or even when noticing unusual behavior with students. This is an excellent tool for communication collaboration between classroom teachers, learning support teachers, guidance counselors, and more.

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Mightybell - Gina Bianchini

Grades
9 to 12
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Mightybell connects people based upon their passions and interests. Mightybell brings together People, Content (including photos), Conversations, and Events. Login using Facebook, LinkedIn,...more
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Mightybell connects people based upon their passions and interests. Mightybell brings together People, Content (including photos), Conversations, and Events. Login using Facebook, LinkedIn, or email. Create a community that reflects your specific interests. Within the community, create specific circles for topics within your interest. Live chat and content are easily viewed on the screen. Create an invitation-only private space or a public community. Posts of members can be edited or deleted by the space creators. (Co-creators can also be added to share the responsibility.) You can determine the frequency of email received. This tool archives all conversations and content for access by those in the community or circle. You must be 13 to use this site. If you are under 18, you need the permission of a parent or guardian to use it.

tag(s): social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use Mightybell to begin communities that reflect student interests. For example, create a Photography community with various circles within the community such as Black and White, Digital, Landscape, etc. Create private communities for almost every subject for students who have passions for Literature, Science, History, Food and Cooking, Art, and more. Use to develop research projects or student portfolios with circles of students and teachers offering critiques and feedback. Create literature circles, book clubs, a writers' community, and even specific clubs within the school. Use this tool with colleagues to co-create materials to use with content units or materials to use for flipping the classroom. Use this tool for professional development. Load resources into the community and create circles for the various discussions of professional development. Presenting at a conference? Use this resource to share presenter materials and continue the discussion after the presentation.

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Calendly - calendly.com

Grades
K to 12
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose...more
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose from several options for length of appointments. Next, describe your event and even add additional questions for invitees if desired. Advanced options allow for making events public, limiting the number of participants, and minimizing schedule notice time. You can add buffer time before and after appointments. Share the link with anyone needing to schedule an appointment with you. They simply visit your calendar to schedule an appointment, and it appears automatically on your calendar. Invitees receive a confirmation screen upon completion of scheduling that includes a link to add the event to their own calendar.

tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (121)

In the Classroom

Use Calendly to schedule parent or student conferences that meet mutual scheduling needs. Create events for professional development sessions. Have participants choose a time for attending or presenting at sessions. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent scheduling tool for any event. Link this up with your Google Calendar and save time, emails, phone calls, and more!

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (130), DAT device agnostic tool (193), homework (43), polls and surveys (47)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Talky - talky.io

Grades
7 to 12
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Talky is a chat and video sharing application that is easy to set up and use. Features include screen sharing, group video chat with up to six participants, and privacy ...more
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Talky is a chat and video sharing application that is easy to set up and use. Features include screen sharing, group video chat with up to six participants, and privacy setting options. Begin by naming your conversation. Be sure to allow access to your computer's camera and microphone when prompted. Share the link with participants to allow access to the meeting. Use links to lock the room to anyone without a password and to share your screen. Current settings only allow use of Talky with Chrome and Firefox. Screen sharing is available with Chrome only. Be sure to read the helpful information found at the bottom of the site for Chrome screen sharing settings. Best part of all... no membership or sign-up is necessary to use this tool.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Use Talky to host tutoring for small groups of students from any computer! Share with students as a resource for collaborating on group projects from home. Use Talky to set up an online interview with authors located across the country, veterans who can discuss their personal experiences with war, or experts to discuss careers in their field. Also use this site to meet up with absent students as needed. If a parent can't make a conference, meet online using Talky to share student work, progress, and more.

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
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tag(s): fluency (23), preK (275), speech (93), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog (you will have to upload the files). Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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Multiple Intelligences Posters - Marek Bennett

Grades
3 to 12
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Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic....more
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Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic. The second poster breaks down steps to use when working with different types of intelligences. For full information, click the link that leads to the full six page essay about multiple intelligences. Also check out the link at the bottom of the page to "psst! teachers!" to another multiple intelligences comic book.

tag(s): back to school (58), comics and cartoons (74), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Print and share posters to get your colleagues and students thinking about their own multiple intelligences. Be sure to maintain the attribution and copyright information on the posters. Explore with students learning about their own strengths in learning. Hang the posters in your classroom. Share information during parent conferences and professional development. Share posters on your board during back to school information sessions to help parents understand different types of intelligences. Encourage students to create comics of themselves using their most comfortable "intelligence" and use it as a locker decoration or on a class bulletin board during the first part of the school year. Use one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learning Difficulties - Great Schools

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. Choose the overview portion of the site for an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability,...more
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. Choose the overview portion of the site for an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability, along with what to look for when considering learning disabilities. Search through resources sorted by grade level or by specific topics such as ADHD and autism. Another interesting section discusses assistive technologies available for reading, writing, and listening.
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tag(s): adhd (28), autism (22), learning disability (14), preK (275), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for understanding and finding resources for learning disabilities. Share articles and information with parents during conferences. Use this site as a resource during professional development sessions.

Comments

Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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ScreenLeap Free Screen Sharing - ScreenLeap, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Share your screen instantly and easily to any device with a browser using ScreenLeap. Choose Start Now to begin and follow simple start-up directions. Once connected, send the...more
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Share your screen instantly and easily to any device with a browser using ScreenLeap. Choose Start Now to begin and follow simple start-up directions. Once connected, send the link via email or text or provide the access code to anyone else to begin sharing. Choices include sharing the entire screen or just what is within the box. Directions include options for just audio sharing. Free account access offers up to 2 hours of screen sharing time per day.
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tag(s): editing (58), homework (43), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Screen share with students in a computer lab to demonstrate how to locate information on websites, or when learning tech tools. This is a great alternative if an interactive whiteboard or projector is not available. Use this tool to collaborate with other teachers when creating lesson plans or student documents. Have students with laptops share their screen with you during presentations to make information easier to view. Share this site with students to use at home when collaborating on projects. Help a homebound student by sharing your class computer screen and opening an audio connection over the phone. Offer "extra help" sessions via screen share at predetermined "office hours" or during a snow day or on certain evenings. Have students teach tech skills to their peers using this free sharing app. Share a student's work using a screenshare during a parent phone conference. Show a parent how to navigate a practice site you want the family to use at home.

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Responsible Use Guidelines of School E-mails for Elementary Students - Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Grades
2 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
View visual guidelines for proper email etiquette. We all need to develop e-mail writing skills for an academic setting with classmates, teachers, administrators, and members of the...more
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View visual guidelines for proper email etiquette. We all need to develop e-mail writing skills for an academic setting with classmates, teachers, administrators, and members of the community in the 21st century. Download the PDF visual guidelines to guide you and your students on the manners and responsibilities associated with communicating through email. Be sure to provide credit to the author in your classroom, website, or blog if you post the PDF.

tag(s): digital citizenship (58), writing (355)

In the Classroom

A great visual to share with your students to develop quality communication skills. Discuss rules, rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a digital citizen. Create your own guide using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here with your students for their use of their own school email address. Print your guide, have the class sign it, and post it in the classroom as a visual reminder to their commitment to digital citizenship. Share the printables or the links to the students' guides with parents at open house or conferences. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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3 Important Graphics to Help Parents Teach Their Kids - ForTheTeachersBlog.org

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers three useful, downloadable posters to help parents help their student with Reading, Spelling, and Math. Each poster includes several easy to implement suggestions for...more
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This site offers three useful, downloadable posters to help parents help their student with Reading, Spelling, and Math. Each poster includes several easy to implement suggestions for help at home: letting your student see you read, having your student explain how to solve problems when doing homework, and more. Click on the links provided with each poster to go to the original graphic or to print a PDF version of the poster. Be sure to give proper credit.
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tag(s): back to school (58), literacy (102), parent conferences (22), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Post during conferences. Post in the parent pick-up area of your school lobby. Provide a link from your class web page or print and send home. Share posters with your PTO/PTA for use in planning parent education activities. These posters are an excellent back to school resource. Be sure to share with parents, teachers, and volunteers for ideas when helping students.

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The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists - Great Schools Partnership

Grades
K to 12
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See "edu-ese" from the point of view of noneducators reading this glossary. Discover the explanations of terms used in education especially the "hot, new" ones. Read explanations that...more
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See "edu-ese" from the point of view of noneducators reading this glossary. Discover the explanations of terms used in education especially the "hot, new" ones. Read explanations that give examples and perspectives from those not immersed in education on a daily basis. Useful both for insiders to see how others look at education and for parents to sift through the lingo, this site continually updates its offerings. One handy extra is the abbreviations section. You can also suggest a term for inclusion.

tag(s): parent conferences (22), parents (55), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Most importantly, use this resource to remind yourself that not everyone knows what you are talking about when you toss "edu-ese" terms into conversation or report card comments. Flip your perspective to see how schools look to those outside, including parents. Share appropriate definitions during parent conferences. Mark this in your professional favorites for those embarrassing moments when a colleague uses a term and you cannot remember which initiative is which. Stay up to date on the lingo being used by reformers (and sometimes policy makers). Review for Praxis tests. Share this as a handy resource for involved parents. Teacher educators and coaches will also want to share this with those they coach!

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ForAllRubrics - ForAllSchools

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics....more
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Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics. Describe your indicators and include standards. Find rubrics in the library to copy and make your own. Print rubrics, save as a PDF, or download as a spreadsheet. Share your rubrics in the library for others to access. Does breaking down data make you break down? Analyze assessment results by individual students, class, item analysis, or standards. Email students and their families the results or download rubrics to print. Add comments to rubrics for qualitative analysis. Award badges (stickers) to reward students and provide positive feedback. An accompanying, free iPad app allows you to collect data on the fly and add it to your account. The demonstration video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not.

tag(s): assessment (99), gamification (63), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use the data provided to analyze students to differentiate instruction. Provide students and families the opportunity to view data online. Motivate students to learn by awarding badges. Students can analyze their own data to monitor progress. Use the data for progress reports and parent/teacher conferences. Use the data provided to analyze your instruction to make sure standards are being met and instruction is tailored for students' individual needs.

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Pathbrite - Heather Hiles

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Pathbrite creates online portfolios. Follow the ten part template to create a portfolio that includes text, transcripts, videos, work samples, and more. Import items directly from many...more
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Pathbrite creates online portfolios. Follow the ten part template to create a portfolio that includes text, transcripts, videos, work samples, and more. Import items directly from many social networks such as YouTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, and others. Share completed portfolios via url or through social networking links.

tag(s): careers (130), college (43), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Upload student work throughout the year and share with parents and/or students during conferences. Use this to show finished projects or to demonstrate changes in a project from start to finish. Upload examples of finished work to share with students before beginning a project to set expectations for completed products. Create a link on your class website to share projects and information. (Get parents permission before posting students' work.) Students can also take ownership of their own portfolios that show progress and products across several years. HIgh school students can build portfolios to share a part of career and college preparation.

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Three Ring - Michael Lindsay, Steve Silvius and Alec Turnbill

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS...more
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Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Add students' names quickly by typing them or adding them through a spreadsheet. Sort uploads by class, student, or custom tag to easily find the artifact you're looking for. Take a photo with your smartphone and tag it before you upload it. Take a picture while in class or grading work. Log in to the website to view all uploaded images. Upload images, videos, or voice recordings.

tag(s): assessment (99), DAT device agnostic tool (193), organizational skills (121), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Upload student work throughout the year and share with parents and/or students during conferences. Instead of creating an account for teacher use only, teach students to upload their own work. Be sure to assign specific tags by assignment, student, and/or standard. Use this to show finished projects or to demonstrate changes in a project from start to finish. Upload examples of finished work to share with students before beginning a project to set expectations for completed products. Create a link on your class website to share projects and information. Students can also take ownership of their own portfolios that show progress and products across several years.

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We Read - WeRead.org

Grades
K to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such ...more
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such as planning reading sessions. View specific plans for sessions with non-readers and early readers for specific times for sessions and appropriate activities. Other interesting topics include the Parents' Corner, Reading Skills, and information on Reading Logs. Although very simple, this site is an excellent resource for anyone beginning to work with early readers. The site includes links to helpful resources from many other places on the web.

tag(s): literacy (102), parents (55), preK (275), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with classroom volunteers and parents or use information to add to literature you distribute at Meet the Teacher/Back to School night or conferences. The Planning Reading Sessions information may be especially useful to share with parents as a framework for reading at home. Include a link to this site on your class website or blog as a resource for parents to use when reading at home with their child.

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Vokle - Robert Kiraz

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required...more
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required to host an "event" but isn't necessary for viewing recorded events available on the site. After registering, create an event (or series) by providing a title, description, and category. Schedule an event for a future time or go live immediately. Invite others to the event by embedding the code on your website, Facebook page, Twitter link, or by sharing the url. Encourage participation through viewer comments and questions that can be screened and chosen by the host. Sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later time making this very useful for the classroom. Search for sessions by browsing events and viewing available categories. The learning category may be a useful starting point.

tag(s): chat (51), video (251)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when collaborating with other classrooms, for holding an author visit, or for professional collaboration. After hosting an event, share the link with students (or parents) who could not attend or who want to watch it over again. Encourage students to host their own event with topics such as book talks, interactive discussions on solving difficult math problems, or discussions of current events. Create a Vokle for parents to view, sharing your educational philosophy, classroom procedures and expectations, and other school-related information. Create a Vokle for students who were absent from class or who may want to watch the lesson again. Even elementary classes can make a Vokle under teacher supervision for special events such as Earth Day or the 100th day of school.

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