TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources

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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject.

 

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Keith Hughes Teaching Stuff YouTube Playlist - Keith Hughes

Grades
K to 12
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students...more
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students on Test Day, Teaching Advice for Dummies, and The Art of the Lecture. Most videos run ten minutes or less making them easy to watch and share. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): back to school (60), mentoring (12), professional development (156), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Include videos during back to school preparation and planning with other staff members. Share with your student teacher as an excellent repository of teaching advice. Use these videos as examples for creating your own videos to share with your teaching colleagues.

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (153), graphic organizers (42), writing (369)

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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Learning Toolbox - James Madison University Special Education Program

Grades
2 to 12
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The Learning Toolbox contains tools and resources for students, parents, and teachers for helping middle and high school students with learning difficulties. Choose from one of the...more
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The Learning Toolbox contains tools and resources for students, parents, and teachers for helping middle and high school students with learning difficulties. Choose from one of the three sections to begin as a student, parent, or teacher. Locate strategies for teaching and assessing students in the teacher portion of the site. Options for parents include information about teaching strategies as well as advocacy information for finding the best educational options for their student. Find tools for organization, test taking, and much more that offer help directly to students.

tag(s): note taking (39), organizational skills (128), reading comprehension (119), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Although this site states it is for working with learning difficulties, much of the information offers support to all students. Use the tips found in the student section to help any student struggling with time management, organization, or comprehension. Share this site with parents as a resource for explicit directions on helping students who struggle with these issues.

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GoConqr - ExamTime Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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GoConqr (formerly ExamTime) is a crowdsourcing site for uploading and sharing class notes, flashcards, quizzes, and more. Free membership offers you access to 3 subjects and 20 public...more
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GoConqr (formerly ExamTime) is a crowdsourcing site for uploading and sharing class notes, flashcards, quizzes, and more. Free membership offers you access to 3 subjects and 20 public resources. Sign up using your email account to begin using GoConqr's features. Be sure to watch the video tutorials for creating resources for your personal page. Use the search feature to find and access resources already designed and shared on the site. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): classroom management (150), flash cards (47), homework (46), mind map (24), quizzes (100), social networking (112), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Share GoConqr with students to build and use study skills. Although an individual can use the site on their own, it is best to use it as a sharing site for study information. Encourage students to sign up and build a network of friends for creating and sharing resources. Learning support teachers and teachers of gifted-but-disorganized students will want to share the tools and encourage their students to create groups and collaborate with their peers. Have students create review activities and swap them with peers. 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.

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This Is Only a Test - Nancy Litton and Maryann Wickett

Grades
2 to 6
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This Is Only a Test is a free study guide created to accompany the book of the same title; however, it is very useful even without the book. Each chapter ...more
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This Is Only a Test is a free study guide created to accompany the book of the same title; however, it is very useful even without the book. Each chapter offers questions to consider when teaching different math concepts, preparation suggestions during the weeks before testing, and advice for communication with parents and administrators. Tools provided with this online book allow users to download and print the book in PDF format, bookmark sections, and add online sticky notes.

tag(s): professional development (156), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use this study guide as part of your ongoing professional development in math instruction. Download the book for use with study groups. Use the materials as part of any professional presentation and share with your school's math coaches.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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U.S. History for AP Students - Krista Ehinger

Grades
10 to 12
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U.S. History for AP Students offers a large choice of resources preparing for History AP exams. Choose from documents, note cards, textbook outlines, president fact sheets, and test...more
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U.S. History for AP Students offers a large choice of resources preparing for History AP exams. Choose from documents, note cards, textbook outlines, president fact sheets, and test taking tips. Use the search bar to find keywords in note cards or browse through cards using provided chronological links. This content will always remain relevant, no matter when the last update to this tool was.

tag(s): advanced placement (23), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Be sure to create a link to this resource on your class website for students to use at home. Share this site with students for use throughout the year with all AP History topics. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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Khan Academy YouTube Channel - Khan Academy

Grades
7 to 12
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view...more
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view available topics such as calculus, biology, SAT preparation, and much more. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): computers (92), equations (153), financial literacy (80), probability (131), STEM (153), test prep (96), video (276)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes about the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. That activity can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Set up a video chat time using one of these YouTube videos and a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here.

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PrepFactory - Darin Singh

Grades
9 to 12
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PrepFactory is a free SAT and ACT preparation site. Sign up using email, Facebook, or your Google account to begin. Choose a test and then start watching videos or answering ...more
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PrepFactory is a free SAT and ACT preparation site. Sign up using email, Facebook, or your Google account to begin. Choose a test and then start watching videos or answering practice questions. Earn experience points along the way as you unlock different problem sets and view videos.

tag(s): test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Share PrepFactory with students and parents as they prepare for SAT and ACT tests. Share this as an alternative to paid programs. Create a class account and practice together. Problem sets and videos are timed and only include a few questions at a time making it perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector for short study sessions.

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Game of Chromes - Meredith Martin

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Game of Chromes is a printable set of flash cards teaching about Google and Google tools. Choose "Open Editor" in the tools to edit and customize for your needs. When ...more
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Game of Chromes is a printable set of flash cards teaching about Google and Google tools. Choose "Open Editor" in the tools to edit and customize for your needs. When finished, print double-sided on cardstock to use.

tag(s): computers (92), flash cards (47), search engines (64), spreadsheets (18)

In the Classroom

Print this set of flash cards for use when introducing or reviewing Google tools. Modify and change the cards to fit any unit. For example, create a complete set just for Google Documents or Google Search. Have students edit the flash cards for review on creating slide shows or spreadsheets. Use this set of flash cards as an opening when presenting information on Google to other teachers and staff.

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Simple Sticky Notes - Simnet Limited

Grades
1 to 12
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Find your sticky notes with the click of a button. Post your important notes or lists to your home screen on your computer quickly and easily. Download the software and ...more
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Find your sticky notes with the click of a button. Post your important notes or lists to your home screen on your computer quickly and easily. Download the software and begin writing notes. Easily delete with one button. Change color, theme, or text type on each sticky note if you desire.
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tag(s): brainstorming (25), graphic organizers (42), note taking (39)

In the Classroom

Stay organized and never lose that sticky note again! Make notes for conferences, lab materials, books needed, or even parent conferences. Use on your interactive whiteboard to create a fun brainstorming session. Use as a way to motivate unorganized students. Post a link on your class web page as a tool for students and even parents! Post on student computers and fill with inspirational messages, vocabulary or spelling words, or even for reflection questions.

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Edueto - Radka Breitzetelova and Tomas Burda

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Create and share online exercises and quizzes for free. Choose from Edueto's different options such as multiple choice, picture tagging, writing, and more to create activities. Browse...more
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Create and share online exercises and quizzes for free. Choose from Edueto's different options such as multiple choice, picture tagging, writing, and more to create activities. Browse through already created activities sorted by grade, type of activity, keyword, or subject. To use any of the exercises, click on the "Use for my students" link. Choose from Quick Use or Full Use options. Quick Use provides an instant link for use without any signup. Full Use, with account creation, offers additional options such as managing students, viewing results, and the ability to create your own exercises. The intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (100), test prep (96), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Edueto is a must-have for creating and using online exercises in any classroom. Create an account to find and save ready-made exercises, and then create your own activities to suit your individual needs. Upload videos and files to include with exercises if desired. Differentiate student learning by setting up activities for all different levels of student abilities. Have students create their own exercises to share with classmates for practice sessions, during a review, or at the end of a presentation.

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Calm - Calm.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Relax and enjoy calming images and sounds with Calm. Choose from soothing images such as gentle raindrops, beaches, or mountains with accompanying soft sounds. Mute sounds if desired...more
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Relax and enjoy calming images and sounds with Calm. Choose from soothing images such as gentle raindrops, beaches, or mountains with accompanying soft sounds. Mute sounds if desired to enjoy relaxing images on their own. Set a timer for 2 through 20 minutes to take it all in. Enjoy this fabulous tool for lowering your stress or refocusing anytime throughout the day!
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tag(s): stress (15)

In the Classroom

Use Calm to settle students down after activities or during transition times. Use it to relax them before "big tests." This site may be perfect for those students that need a little quiet time in their daily routine. Use this site with any student who may need some quiet time between transitions. Share this site to use with students while studying. They could study for 15 minutes (or longer, depending on the age) and "earn" relaxation time. If students feel stressed out about a project, try starting with some short relaxation time to calm the nerves. Use this site for yourself: relaxing, destressing, and enjoying life for a few minutes. Use this tool during a unit in study skills to talk about ways to refocus as you study. There is great value in incubation time before actually launching into a new project or creative challenge, and this tool can help!

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Common Sense for Common Core - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social...more
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science lesson plans span K-12. Detailed plans include teaching nonfiction within integrated content areas. Find detailed book lists by grade level, literature titles, or professional development areas. News and Resources include articles describing a variety of concerns teachers face in today's classroom including, using one iPad in a classroom, reaching every reader, math Common Core tips, and much more. Get answers to some frequently asked questions involving Common Core. Get back to the basics of Common Core through the explanatory sites. Expert videos highlight important aspects of using Common Core Standards. The Editor's Corner gives full units that span the range of the grades with titles such as War Stories, Poetry; Explore the Power of Words, and Life, Death, and Stories in Between. Still have a burning question? Submit your question and get an emailed response. Join the conversation with educators discussing different aspects of Common Core. A parent Common Core Area uses the Common Core Basics, News and Resources, and a list of books to use by grade level. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): assessment (107), commoncore (95), questioning (33), test prep (96), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on your computer! Find answers to all of your questions with resources to challenge your students. Share in your professional learning communities with a different area each meeting. Document your professional development growth for your evaluation. Need to explain Common Core to parents? Begin here!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cubing and Think Dots Strategy - Eulouise Williams

Grades
3 to 12
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas...more
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas from the site to understand how to use cubes to differentiate teaching for various groups of students. Similar to cubes, Think Dots incorporates the idea of students constructing the meaning of concepts through the use of activity cards correlated to the roll of a dice. The PDF starts with an overview of Bloom's Taxonomy and its revision.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), differentiation (49), learning styles (20), professional development (156)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this PDF to differentiate and offer a variety of learning opportunities to students. Share this site and the strategies with peers during professional development sessions. Have students create cubes or think dots of their own for use when reviewing material for tests and quizzes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Edcite - 2014 Edcite Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages...more
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Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages allow for highlighting, graphs, image labeling, and video sections for background knowledge. Questions include a section for written response to improve evidence-based answers as well as multiple choice. Teachers can share their assignments or use other teacher created assignments. Students receive immediately graded feedback. With a free teacher account, save questions to your library.

tag(s): assessment (107), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use technology to motivate and engage your students. Give these quality text passages personalized to your class needs. Use as a teaching tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Continue to use individually or as small group instruction. Pair a weak reader with a strong reader for independent pair work. You can easily differentiate by creating tiered assignments to meet each students' needs. Share at your next staff meeting to provide collaboration between teachers. Use in a flipped classroom and have students complete the work at home. They will still receive immediate feedback! Use at parent gatherings to provide an example of the grade level expectations. Put on your classroom website as a way to practice at home. Before assigning questions to individual students you might want to check the readability of the questions or supplied readings. Use a tool such as The Readability Test Tool, reviewed here. This reviewer found the articles in some grade levels to be about two years higher in reading level than the grade listed for the question.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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JMAP - New York Regents Exams Resources - Steve Sibol and Steve Watson

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
JMAP offers a large collection of resources for integrating Regents exam questions into everyday curriculum. Although it is created specifically for New York Regents exam preparation,...more
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JMAP offers a large collection of resources for integrating Regents exam questions into everyday curriculum. Although it is created specifically for New York Regents exam preparation, content is applicable to any math curriculum. Choose from content sorted by textbook, class, or review materials. Choices for downloading materials include PDF, DOC, and TST formats. Other materials included on the site are Regents books, worksheet generators, and Regents archives. This site is a must-see for New York teachers and worth a visit for all math teachers!

tag(s): assessment (107), test prep (96), worksheets (62)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year for finding standardized testing questions to integrate into classroom lessons. Be sure to share a link to former test questions and review materials on your class web page or blog for use at home. If you teach using AMSCO or Pearson textbooks, be sure to explore this site for valuable resources to supplement your textbook materials. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to create study materials found on JMAP. Have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain steps in solving a problem using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.
 
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Kahrds - VIP Learning

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Kahrds is a learning system based on flashcards you create and then integrate into several game options. Use your Kahrds as flashcards, crosswords, quizzes, hangman, or a quick type...more
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Kahrds is a learning system based on flashcards you create and then integrate into several game options. Use your Kahrds as flashcards, crosswords, quizzes, hangman, or a quick type activity where the definition is given and you type in the word. Create an account to begin. Create a set of Kahrds. Choose a category and decide on visibility. Options include public, private, or limited viewing. Create your Kahrds by inserting a word and its definition. Add as many words as you like until the set is complete. Most games require a minimum of 5 or more Kahrds in a set. Share sets using the link provided when saving a set. This tool will work on any device that can access the website. Kahrds will work on any device with an Internet connection. Some of the explanation/introduction videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): crosswords (18), flash cards (47), game based learning (114), quiz (88), quizzes (100), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and one more time as a final review. This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes, words used in science terms, or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their groups. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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A Soft Murmur - Gabriel Martin

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds...more
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Use the slider bar at the top of the page to adjust sound levels as needed.

tag(s): creative writing (171), learning styles (20)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Does your class have silent reading time, or are you reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use a background sound as mood music to set the stage for your story. Use the sounds during creative writing exercises. Why not listen to waves or water while studying them?! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them over stimulating while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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