College Planning Resources

College planning is never simple, and it needs to be a team effort. These TeachersFirst-reviewed resources can help parents and students take the steps that are important to a successful college search.

 

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Write Source: Writing Topics - Houghton Mifflin Co.

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Getting students involved in writing sometimes takes the right motivation. This site can provide that through a multitude of prompts and models for the students to see. The site is...more
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Getting students involved in writing sometimes takes the right motivation. This site can provide that through a multitude of prompts and models for the students to see. The site is offered by the Houghton Mifflin Co. in conjunction with a writing textbook. Even on its own, this is a great site to find student topics and show models of good writing. The topics are divided by grade level in elementary and intermediate, then grouped as 9-12 for high school. Each section includes a number of writing prompt --enough to whet the appetite of almost any student -- as well as links to different parts of the Houghton textbooks. The student models are shown by type (creative writing, persuasive, academic, workplace, etc.) and the links at the top of each page access MLA and APA styles as well as samples and information on how to do multimedia reports for college or the workplace. The upper levels of this site, such as persuasive writing or multimedia reports, open the door to higher level thinking.

tag(s): blogs (87), essays (21), writing (355), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have the students choose their own prompt from the list and then share their writing within a small group, with the class, or on their own blogs. Use the models and anonymous sharing on an interactive whiteboard to create a "safe" way for students to share writing as process and hear how others do it. Use the option of PUBLISHING student models on the site as a motivator. Be sure to get parent permission!

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A+ Research & Writing Step-by-Step - Kathryn L. Schwartz

Grades
9 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, ...more
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, or narrow the focus? Are you dreading walking your students through the citation part? This site enables students to go through the process of writing a research paper from choosing a topic through writing the paper, revising, proofreading, and final submission. What makes this site appealing is the use of great graphics and the very simple, one-step-at-a-time approach that makes paper writing less daunting. Links take students to college-specific sites for interactive organizational tools such as mapping and outlining.

In the Classroom

This site helps you help your students and them students to work at their own pace through the pieces that are difficult for them. Use the entire site as a guide for you research process or select different pieces of this site as models when you teach research papers so students can practice right then and there "how to do it." Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page so parents can support students as they approach deadline-panic (and you know some will procrastinate, no matter what you do).

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Learning Style Inventory - Brett Bixler

Grades
5 to 12
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining...more
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining elaborate personality traits and indexes to preteens and young adults. (There is one unfortunate mention of smoking, since the inventory was designed for college students. You may want to point it out and make an active disclaimer. about not promoting smoking!). This free, simplified inventory is short enough to complete and discuss during one class period. NOTE: the results of the inventory come up in a small pop-up window. Make sure your pop-up blocker is not preventing you from seeing them. The Google and Yahoo toolbars block pop-ups! In Internet Explorer, you can temporarily turn off the blocker by RIGHT-clicking on the narrow yellow bar that appears at the top of the web page window.

tag(s): assessment (99), learning styles (19), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Regular ed and learning support teachers from middle school up will want to share this resource with students and parents to help students find the most effective ways to study and retain knowledge. Include the link on your teacher web page (with a note about the unfortunate mention of smoking!) or plan a start-of-the year in-class time to help students get off on the right foot. Even teachers of gifted (whose students are notorious for inconsistent study methods because they have not "needed" to study) will find this resource helpful when students "hit the wall" in challenging courses. As part of a study skills unit, have students self-assess and create a single database of the class members' learning styles and subject strengths so they can find peer-tutors during study halls.

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Log It - PECentral

Grades
K to 12
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Encourage fitness for the digital natives, using a high-tech tool they will love! Log It is a site that encourages physical activity by allowing students to keep a record ...more
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Encourage fitness for the digital natives, using a high-tech tool they will love! Log It is a site that encourages physical activity by allowing students to keep a record of the steps they walk each day. Other benefits include allowing them to participate in a virtual walk across the U.S. with other students, set up their own goals, or participate in class goals set up by the teacher. Both students themselves and their teachers can register their miles at school or from home! Though the site introducation mentions elementary and middle school students, it also says college classes and corporations are welcome to join, as well.

With this site, students become aware of their daily physical activity and also participate in group competitions within their classroom or participate in one of several competitions across the U.S. The site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): competitions (14)

In the Classroom

Teachers must register their school and their class first before students can participate. Be sure to get parent permission before allowing students to register and plan for the logistics of letting students enter their miles. Help your students register and set individual or classroom goals. Make it a competition with the homeroom next door or throughout your school. Be sure to put this link and log-in information on your teacher web page for students, parents, and others to access outside of class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Carbonmade: Your Online Portfolio - nterface

Grades
8 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This is one fabulous way for art or photography students to create a FREE online portfolio to share work in your class, share with each other, or submit as an ...more
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This is one fabulous way for art or photography students to create a FREE online portfolio to share work in your class, share with each other, or submit as an online collection for competitions or college admissions. The users agreement specifies no "group" accounts or users under 13 years old. The free version is limited to 5 projects and 35 images (no videos in the free version), but this is enough to show your "best of the best." You can even choose the actual URL for the portfolio within Carbonmade. The home page has a Flash demo so you can see how the site works.

tag(s): images (261), photography (160), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Browse for files and upload to site, label with captions, project information, other information, and decide about viewing options. Works best with Internet Explorer 6+ or Safari. No special html skills needed. A teenager will figure this one out in one minute. A techno-comfortable teacher will take no more than four minutes! The only challenge is figuring out how to change settings on a project within your portfolio and have them SAVE. Watch the demo.

Share portfolios among neighboring schools or through art teacher associations to inspire your students and help them develop the critical skills to choose their best work and articulate their reasons (Use the "notes" space on each image to tell about it).

Be sure that you adhere to school policies regarding posting of student work. Have students create their accounts ONLY with written parent permission, especially since there is space for a "profile" (which teachers should require students to leave BLANK for safety reasons. Use your teacher email account so there is no danger of having outsiders contact your students. After graduation students may change the settings and use the site in budding art careers! Avoid including any personally identifiable information in descriptions or images. Personally identifiable information can always be shared with potential colleges, etc. via email or letter, rather than posting it to the web.

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Survival Guide for New Teachers - US Dept of Ed

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive guide provides ideas and positive support for all aspects of your fledgling teaching career: from parents to college loan debt. College faculty may also want to share...more
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This comprehensive guide provides ideas and positive support for all aspects of your fledgling teaching career: from parents to college loan debt. College faculty may also want to share it with prospective teachers and student teachers.

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My Hero - My Hero Project

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing...more
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing project for your secondary classes? Trying to help your high school juniors and seniors create an interesting college "essay" or portfolio piece? Join other adults and children from around the world by adding your essay, artwork or video about a hero on this non-profit, ad-free web site. You and your students can use this site with basic word processing knowledge -- or take it further if you are more technically capable.Site registration is required. Site is available in Spanish. Flash, Acrobat Reader and Quicktime are required. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gifted (96), heroes (24), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Be sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!

Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Understanding University Success

Grades
8 to 12
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While there's a wealth of "common knowledge" about what it takes to succeed in higher education, specific discussions of the factors and preparation that let students succeed is harder...more
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While there's a wealth of "common knowledge" about what it takes to succeed in higher education, specific discussions of the factors and preparation that let students succeed is harder to find. Developed by a consortium of leading universities, this online PDF reference is the sort of reading that counselors, parents, and students should have available when they begin to plan their high school careers.Remember that your computer will have to open Acrobat Reader to open the reference pages and booklet. Be patient if you are on a slower connection.

tag(s): college (43)

In the Classroom

Guidance counselors will find this one especially useful.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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