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This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership

 

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Word Mayhem - Learning Planet

Grades
4 to 8
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Students can challenge their word knowledge while competing in this sixty-second, multi-media vocabulary game. Players must work quickly to click or type letters to create words from...more
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Students can challenge their word knowledge while competing in this sixty-second, multi-media vocabulary game. Players must work quickly to click or type letters to create words from a set of scrambled letters. Points are awarded based on word length, with opportunities to increase your score by deciphering scrambled words based on definitions. When the winner is revealed, the game and timer automatically reset with another chance to compete.

tag(s): game based learning (97), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Word Mayhem is a wise choice for a quick, easy to try, vocabulary development and reinforcement activity. The instructions are simplistic and students can compete against themselves or other players. When students are working on individual technology based assignments in the classroom or computer lab, this is a good link to make accessible to keep them on task and engaged when they finish the assignment a few minutes before the end of the period.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (55), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Word Hippo - Wordhippo.com

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word,...more
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Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word, etc. The site also makes suggestions for other words in case you might have made a typo or do not know the spelling. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words. You will want to spell out consequences and/or supervise to be sure students are not searching for inappropriate words, but the most egregious words of bad taste do not appear to be available for search at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (55), spelling (168), synonyms (38), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site for vocabulary development and word study assignments, such as writing sentences, paragraphs, or essays using new words. Since the site permits translation, this would be a valuable tool in world language classes, ESL/ELL classes, and more. Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard and elicit examples to show the class how quickly it works. Have students create their own word walls with synonyms, antonyms, sentences, and more for their latest vocabulary words. Try a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, for each student to create an online "wall" with words aligned to color coded stickies for synonyms. antonyms, etc. Alternatively, have students create class challenges for their peers with color coded matching activities for the interactive whiteboard matching words to synonyms, antonyms, and an appropriate fill in the blank sentence. Share this as a favorite on your teacher public page for handy reference any time students encounter an unknown word. Even subject area teachers such as science and social studies will find this tool handy for students with weaker vocabulary levels.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (55), reading comprehension (112), reading strategies (42), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Knoword - Trevor Blades

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits ...more
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits the definition. The site allows you to pass if you do not know the word, but the definition of the word appears anyway (along with the answer). Once the correct word is entered, the definition changes quickly so you can accrue as many points as possible in a limited time. The site also keeps a list of words used at any interaction, so you can see the words correct and missed. Some definitions offer easier hints in their wording.

tag(s): game based learning (97), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Try this activity at the start of class on your interactive whiteboard or projector; it's perfect for vocabulary development with a lively twist! Offer this site to your students who are trying to assess and/or improve their vocabulary for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. ESL/ELL students may also enjoy the challenges and additions to their vocabulary. Share this site on your class webpage or blog for students to access (and practice) at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Poetry Idea Engine - Scholastic

Grades
K to 6
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
The site gives the basics for understanding haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. Detailed steps lead you to an understanding of the poetry form. Following instruction, you see...more
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The site gives the basics for understanding haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. Detailed steps lead you to an understanding of the poetry form. Following instruction, you see examples demonstrating each type of poetry. Scaffolded support helps you to achieve success in poetry. You can print your finished poem.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Use the Poetry Idea Engine as a starting point to introduce the different poetry forms. Extend this further into creating poetry with other subjects in the given form. Start your own classroom collection to be shared digitally on your website with Power Points or multimedia presentations. In audio form, create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) and then share them on your website. Add digital images and make a photo book of your favorite poems from your poetry unit using a site such as Mix Book (reviewed here). Save the poetry images/audio for your end of year remembrances to share with students and their families. The Poetry Idea Engine can provide concrete examples and success for ESL/ELL students as well as inspiration for gifted students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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For Better for Verse - Herbert Tucker, John C. Coleman: Professor of English

Grades
10 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
For Better for Verse is an interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick. Think of it as a tutorial for sophisticated poetry...more
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For Better for Verse is an interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick. Think of it as a tutorial for sophisticated poetry analysis involving meter, rhythm, voice, prosody, and complex stress and foot patterns that challenge beyond appreciation of the poem to illuminate the life in it. The tools are composed of a List of Poems, a Poem Workbox, a Glossary, and the Resources tab, where you will find a short scholarly bibliography and selected audio clips. There is also an extensive Help page for guidance. High school English, honors, and advanced placement courses will welcome this site.

tag(s): poetry (228), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Plotting the patterns of poetic meter and rhyme can be as hard to study as learning a foreign language. It takes long hours of practice to develop an ear and a feel for the kind of verse that was standard during Chaucer's time. At For Better for Verse poetry enthusiasts practice by trial and error opportunities, and receive instant feedback as they analyze the syllables' stress, without becoming too stressed, themselves. How do you know where the slacks and stresses fall? You listen; so instead of relying on repeating the verse out loud, click on the audio to hear it read. Listening to a vocal performance is helpful in the early stages of the tutorial. Students build confidence as they turn their stride into a gallop and waltz across the poem with their mouse and curser. Soon they will progress to using their eyes, rather than their ears to "listen" to the poem.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (55), biographies (85), book reports (36), characterization (16)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Moovly - Brendon Grunewald

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on ...more
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Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on "New Moov" to begin. Give your Moov a title and description then choose from templates offered or create your own Moov from scratch. Modify slides, text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Upload sounds from your computer in MP3 format: voice, music, or noises. These can be used in parallel, or click the microphone to record your voice. You can also make your Moovly interactive by using Flash. Save and share via YouTube, Facebook, email. You can also download to your computer using mp4 (video) or swf format. Download the 28-page PDF guide for step-by-step directions and answers to specific questions. Emailing customer support will get you answers within 24 hours. Free accounts can create unlimited videos that are each ten minutes long. The free account allows for 100MB or 20 items in their storage.

tag(s): animation (59), movies (64), multimedia (50), slides (59), video (252)

In the Classroom

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

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Printable Paper - printablepaper.net

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper ...more
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Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper (college or wide rule), several forms of graph paper, letter templates, and much more. Use the categories listing to find specific options to narrow your search such as different forms of penmanship paper, score sheets, or music papers. There are even several different comic page templates and storyboard papers for storytelling or story mapping. Click on any paper image to download in PDF format. A special heading for teacher resources includes lesson plan paper and more. The specialty papers include doorhanger patterns to decorate and cut out. Don't miss the printable games.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), comics and cartoons (73), handwriting (18), letter writing (20), musical notation (32), preK (275)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for classroom use. Use anytime you need graph paper, writing paper, music sheets, etc. Share a link on your classroom website for student use at home. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Share this site with older students the first week of school. Now there is no excuse for not doing homework because of not having the correct type of paper! Some of the papers have alternate uses, such as using quilting graph paper to create and study geometric shapes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

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

tag(s): animation (59), digital storytelling (131), movies (64), multimedia (50), slides (59)

In the Classroom

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

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
19 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (131), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Mint - Intuit

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Mint is a free money management site featuring several tools for budgeting and tracking finances. Connect to virtually any financial organization to receive real-time updates from bank...more
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Mint is a free money management site featuring several tools for budgeting and tracking finances. Connect to virtually any financial organization to receive real-time updates from bank accounts, credit cards, and investments. Mint analyzes your financial information and provides tips for savings and account management.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (187), financial literacy (78), money (192)

In the Classroom

Share Mint with students as part of any consumer education lesson or course as a resource for managing their money. Even if you don't sign up for mint, take advantage of their Tools and Tips section to find money management articles for many different financial situations.

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OK2Ask: Technology Integration Made Easy with Voicethread - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from April 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn to use VoiceThread in your classroom. Need to have students create...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from April 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn to use VoiceThread in your classroom. Need to have students create a project to demonstrate comprehension? Want to allow your class to continue an important conversation after class is dismissed for the day? Can you make formative assessment less foreboding? You can use VoiceThread for all of this and more. Learn to easily add a layer of interaction in your class that increases student engagement. Join us for this session and your students will thank you! Please Note: It would be best to attend this session on a computer. iPad users attending this session should download the VoiceThread app prior to the session. Participants will: 1. Learn basic use of the VoiceThread tool; 2. Explore three different ways to use VoiceThreads in the classroom; and 3. Plan for the use of VoiceThread in the classroom This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (131)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocabulary.com - Vocabulary.com

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict...more
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Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict which vocabulary words they don't know and instruct them from there. You can also type in a word to learn the definition. With more than 40,000 questions to help your students learn new vocabulary, time will not be wasted here. The vocabulary is chosen based on words that need to be mastered for success in an academic or business environment. The program will analyze student achievement and review words that the students originally missed to make sure they are retaining the words. Vocabulary.com is for students from elementary school through graduate school. You can register with an email address or via your Facebook account. Note: as with any dictionary tool, there is content that is intended for more mature users, including matter of fact definitions of swear words. Teachers will want to manage this tool as any adult dictionary and have logical consequences for those who look up words so they can giggle, etc.

tag(s): game based learning (97), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station for students who finish their work early. Be sure to mark the site on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there. Or, if you have access to multiple classroom computers, you may want to start your language arts lessons with five to ten minutes of work on Vocabulary.com. Once students have learned this program they can be totally independent. This is one to list on your class website for students/parents to access at home for additional practice.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Games to Learn English - Owen Dwyer

Grades
K to 8
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners,...more
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners, the many activities focus on developing vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, word order, and spelling skills. Choose from interactives such as Fast Hands and Concentration to begin. Each activity includes directions for play and scoring explanations, and most have playing speed options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (97), preK (275), sentences (52), sequencing (31), spelling (168), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Although created for English language learners, this is an excellent site to develop vocabulary (and computer skills) for younger students. It also helps with speech/language vocabulary development and grammar reinforcement for special ed. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the activities as a class with a student operating the board. Create a link on classroom computers and challenge students to increase their speed in completing games.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Root of the Day Archive - Membean - Ragav Satish, Brett Brunner, Micah Elliott

Grades
4 to 12
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information...more
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information for that root and lots of new words. See an interactive tree with words containing that root; when you click on the word the definition appears. There is also a short summary, a podcast (aka a "root cast"), and a "Memlet." A "Memlet" separates the parts of a word and describes how they combine to make meaning. Click on any word part, with a tree icon and a star, to see other words that use that root. You will also find related roots with similar meanings, and definitions of the word's affixes. Clicking on the question marks after the "memlet" offers a video about word parts and roots. Only some or the videos require Flash. This is a remarkably powerful and unique way to learn all about words.

tag(s): prefixes (16), root words (13), suffixes (14), vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Root words are at the heart of any vocabulary development unit, or should be! Project this vocabulary website using your classroom whiteboard and projector, and share one of the root words. Have a student demonstrate how to navigate the different types of media to help them understand and learn the root. To assign certain roots for study, post their distinct URLs on your website, blog, wiki, or bookmark on the classroom computers. Once you are on the page for one of the roots, you will see a link that says "See an example word page." Show your students this example word page and analyze the parts together. Then assign individuals or small groups to develop word pages for words based on the roots you are studying. An engaging, visual way for them to present their results would be to use Sharalike, reviewed here , or Zeetings, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bee A Coder - Honey Nut Cheerios/Nickelodeon

Grades
2 to 8
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Learn how to write code and then create a game at Bee A Coder. Start by clicking Beginner to learn the basics and to participate in three lessons teaching how ...more
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Learn how to write code and then create a game at Bee A Coder. Start by clicking Beginner to learn the basics and to participate in three lessons teaching how to write code in three different formats - HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. View videos and follow prompts to complete activities for each lesson. Activities track progress as you move through each segment of the learning activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (25), computers (79), engineering (114), gamification (62), STEM (116)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to "tinker" and see what they can do. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy or snowy day recesses. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Encourage students to learn from each other; as students master skills, allow them to be the teacher for other students. Pair weaker readers with stronger readers, as there is lots of reading while learning and coding.
 

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Robo-Dancers: Do the Strictly - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
4 to 12
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using...more
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using code. Share and save when finished. Be sure to check out other options available on this site for creating animated stories and adding visuals to classic music. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. The dance steps for the dance, Do The Strictly are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube. At the time of this review, the site activities did not work with all browsers. So be sure to test out this site on the browser that you will be using.

tag(s): coding (25), computers (79), engineering (114), gamification (62), STEM (116)

In the Classroom

Use Robo-Dancers as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display your dancer on your interactive whiteboard or projector and switch between modes to view changes in code when changing dance moves. After school clubs and activities can use Robo-Dancers to learn coding. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Sketch Nation Create - Nitzan Wilnai

Grades
2 to 12
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the ...more
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the app of choice and then click settings and register. Once registered (no email required) select Create, the Genre, and your choice of Simple, Advanced, or Expert Modes. Choose to draw or import pictures to use for the background, characters, objects, and scenery. Make simple games while learning a little about programming and game design. Click the Getting Started tab to register. Look at the many examples and ideas under Education.

tag(s): coding (25), computers (79), critical thinking (93), DAT device agnostic tool (187), game based learning (97), gamification (62), logic (229), problem solving (257), STEM (116)

In the Classroom

If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Allow students to explore and learn on their own at classroom computer centers or individual laptops. Sketch Nation is an engaging interactive to learn basic coding skills even for younger students. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Once students get the hang of beginning programming tips, encourage them to make apps, games, or digital stories for other courses such as videos explaining photosynthesis, book readings from authors, famous battles from history, or different genres of music and art. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation, and to keep tabs on students and their progress. For creating digital storyboards see Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Sketch Nation Create teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could learn more by using a program such as Anybody Can Learn to Code, reviewed here, Kodable, reviewed here, or Codeacademy, reviewed here.

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The Poetry Archive - The Poetry Archive Panel

Grades
K to 12
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The Poetry Archive is a comprehensive place for bringing poetry to life in your classroom. This resource provides lesson plans and activities for all key stages, built around authentic...more
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The Poetry Archive is a comprehensive place for bringing poetry to life in your classroom. This resource provides lesson plans and activities for all key stages, built around authentic recordings that offer lively, engaging ways of unraveling the mystery of poetry. There are numerous internet sites that provide audio versions of poems; however this site provides access to the actual voice of the poets as they read their poems the way they intended them to be heard. Find out what they say about their own writing and the importance of hearing poems aloud. Browse all poems by title, poet's name, poetic forms, or themes. A full glossary of poetic terms is provided. There are various featured poets in residence, and there is even a link to a Children's Archive with favorite poems for younger students. The Poetry Archive includes a wide range of resources designed to help students learn background information on the poets and understand the context for their work.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Enrich and enliven your poetry lessons with recordings and videos of some of the world's best loved poets. One of teachers many frustrations, when trying to inspire students to fall in love with poetry, is not being able to call up the voices of earlier poets. Listening to the poet himself has a magical effect in the classroom and makes the very experience that it describes come alive. Start by projecting the poem on your white board while listening to the recording and then ask students to pick out, highlight, and display words or phrases that appealed to them. Introduce various poetic forms and demonstrate how the sound of a poem is as crucial to its meaning as the printed words on the page. Explore, connect, and make new discoveries for themes you are studying. Have students respond to the power and energy of poetic language and appreciate the beauty of the sounds and images, then move towards an analysis of the underlying meaning. Challenge students to try some creative writing that goes beyond the literal meaning and resonates their "voice." Not studying poetry during April (Poetry Month)? Play a quick Poetry Break from this site as a class starter or bonus moment after finishing a quiz. Make your own class poetry archive by having students upload PowerPoint images of their own poems and read them aloud on UtellStory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who Did It? - Building Lab Skills with Forensics - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large ...more
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"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large unit: there are eight different activities including a DNA web quest and lab session. Each activity is based on a different "crime" and type of forensic analysis. The culminating project is a lab practical. Complete rubrics and printable handouts round out this unit.

tag(s): forensics (27), scientific method (62)

In the Classroom

Mark this unit in your Favorites to inspire students with scientific inquiry. Add new dimensions to the unit with technology options, such as keeping a lab journal on your class wiki and documenting steps with digital pictures. Students could also upload and "narrate" their lab pictures on Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Story Map - Read Write Think

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (131), graphic organizers (42), writing (356)

In the Classroom

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

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Digital Storyteller - Center for Technology and Teacher Education Univ. of Virginia

Grades
1 to 12
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Find a one-stop shop for digital storytelling at this site, created by the University of Virginia. Produce quick and easy digital storytelling projects and find detailed instructions...more
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Find a one-stop shop for digital storytelling at this site, created by the University of Virginia. Produce quick and easy digital storytelling projects and find detailed instructions for creation. Begin with the idea map. Go to the script and prepare your dialogue. Narrate and record the script. Add images to go with your words. The site also lists other resources featuring digital storytelling. Join the community blog to grow and explore other peoples' ideas. Enjoy the featured story to find an excellent example.

tag(s): digital storytelling (131)

In the Classroom

Emerge your class into higher level thinking skills and the 21st century skills involved in a digital storytelling project. Take any and all subject matter and dig deeper into the curriculum. Start small and gradually build up in complexity and depth. Draw or take your own pictures for this project, or find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course) at Compfight, reviewed here. Start by sharing the example on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Brainstorm examples with the content you are currently studying. Use digital storytelling as an alternate form of assessment. Be sure to post all student work on your website, blog, or Edmodo account to share with others.

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