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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Classmint - Rajan Chandi and Amar Prabhu

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create beautiful, annotable, and audible flashcards using Classmints. Features allow the ability to add code, insert images, and to explain notes with text or images. Play notes...more
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Create beautiful, annotable, and audible flashcards using Classmints. Features allow the ability to add code, insert images, and to explain notes with text or images. Play notes in an audio visual player to listen while studying. "Fold" notes to cover up explanations then "unfold" to view and review. Adjust settings to allow flashcards to be private or public depending on your needs. Be sure to explore the "ready to go" flashcards at the site, before creating your own. At the time of this review, this website was FREE. However, the website creator does mention they plan to add premium features in the future, while keeping most of the site free. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then it 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.

tag(s): flash cards (45), test prep (95), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, again in the practice of the concept, and as a final review. It is a nice three for one creation deal! This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words to students. Use in science terms, or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. 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 before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports. Be sure to check the data base for already created sets to save you time making them yourself!

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Donna Young Printables and Resources - Donna Young

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Donna Young has created a website full of ideas for home, homeschooling, and classrooms. Home ideas include planning, meal preparation, and simple household tips. In the home school...more
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Donna Young has created a website full of ideas for home, homeschooling, and classrooms. Home ideas include planning, meal preparation, and simple household tips. In the home school area, find information about why to do homeschooling, how to do homeschooling, and resources for homeschooling. There are a variety of resources for the classroom in the subjects of art, English, math, science, handwriting, and history. The math section contains resources for time, graph paper, fact cards in triangle format or regular in all operations, coordinate planes, drawing to scale, and drill pages. Explore the many resources in English, spelling, vocabulary ideas, and dictionary skills, book reviews, and planning. In science, investigate a nature journal, lunar eclipse, topic ideas, science art, and labs. An extensive handwriting section provides many resources for all styles and types of charts, guides, and practices. Presented, too, are art books, drawing, shading, perspective ideas, color, color theory, and themes. You can sign up for updates or take part in the blog.

tag(s): colors (79), drawing (77), flash cards (45), handwriting (18), journals (20), manipulatives (44), moon (72), perspective (11), themes (12), worksheets (58)

In the Classroom

In your classroom find basic resources for manipulatives, or basic practice drills. List as a resource for basics needed for subjects. Home school advocates will appreciate the information on the research, how to's, and starting points to begin.

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Smarterer - Dave Balter, Michael Kowalchik, and Jennifer Fremont-Smith

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and...more
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Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and finance to begin. Choose a test and take a practice question which will not count on your score. Take complete tests after signing in using your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. You can also use your email. View scores at the end of each test and your ranking on a scale from beginner to master based on comparisons to other test takers. Create your own tests easily using step by step directions provided on Smarterer. Give your test a title, then add questions and multiple choice responses. Choose to let others add questions to your test or not. Tests will appear on Smarterer after approval from the site moderators. The site continues to add new tests, many user-created.

tag(s): assessment (99), business (57), computers (79), quizzes (95), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use Smarterer to help students identify areas to improve in different skills. Use some of the tests for students to "test out" of curriculum such as email etiquette in computer class or to motivate students to learn about real world skills they will need in the job market. Share this site with students to use at home for quick assessments in many subjects. Create your own tests to use for review and share with students to take and identify areas for further study. Demonstrate how students can track progress through retaking tests (students will need their own account).

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Coggle - coggle.it

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Coggle is an online, collaborative mind mapping program. Sign in using your Google account or other email to begin. Click "create" to begin a new diagram. Click to edit text, ...more
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Coggle is an online, collaborative mind mapping program. Sign in using your Google account or other email to begin. Click "create" to begin a new diagram. Click to edit text, or choose the + icon to add a new branch. Drag elements anywhere on your screen to rearrange. Invite others to view, add, or edit your Coggle using the share button. Allow other users read-only access or read-and-edit access. Download finished Coggles as a PDF file or a png image. The introduction/explanation video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you may want to view the video and familiarize yourself with the website from your home computer.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Coggle's ease of use makes it easy to focus on the process of creating a mind map, rather than learning how to use the program or playing with its features to make it pretty. Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Exam Time - ExamTime.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
ExamTime is powerful tool package to improve and enhance study skills. Features include mind maps, flash cards, quizzes, and goal-setting. Sign up using email or Facebook to begin exploring...more
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ExamTime is powerful tool package to improve and enhance study skills. Features include mind maps, flash cards, quizzes, and goal-setting. Sign up using email or Facebook to begin exploring the site. Choose the Explore button at the top of the page to create a study activity. Follow the easy directions to add text, drag and drop items, and build study items. When finished, share with friends within ExamTime. Another interesting feature is the Goal Builder - enter goals, future assignments, project deadlines, and more to build a timeline and check activities when complete. View information easily on computers and mobile devices for easy access anywhere and anytime.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (129), flash cards (45), homework (43), mind map (24), quizzes (95), social networking (113), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Share ExamTime 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 to share study information. Encourage students to sign up and build a network of friends for creating and sharing resources. You might consider requiring students to use the timeline feature to prioritize and stay organized, especially with long term tasks. Learning support teachers and teachers of gifted-but-disorganized students will want to share the tools and encourage their students to collaborate with their peers. Have students create review activities (they call it revision) 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. Groups of grade level teachers can use the timeline feature and set goals to make sure they are covering the Common Core Standards for the year, throughout the year.

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Room Recess Educational Games for Kids - roomrecess.com

Grades
K to 4
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Room Recess contains several educational games for elementary students created by a 3rd Grade teacher, and is still growing! Room Recess has more than doubled in size since this review...more
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Room Recess contains several educational games for elementary students created by a 3rd Grade teacher, and is still growing! Room Recess has more than doubled in size since this review first published, and now offers more than thirty free games. The games are arranged in four categories; math games, reading games, word games, and matching games. Choose from free word or math games with titles such as Pizzeria Parlor and Prefix Popper. Practice skills such as basic operations, sequencing, spelling, sight words, tic-tac-toe, and many more! The games are in four categories; math games, reading games, word games, and matching games. Each activity includes short directions before play begins.

tag(s): addition (252), antonyms (26), division (172), flash cards (45), fractions (239), game based learning (101), keyboarding (38), multiples (34), multiplication (227), operations (126), parts of speech (68), prefixes (16), preK (275), reading strategies (43), sequencing (31), spelling (168), subtraction (209), time (144)

In the Classroom

Choose these games for student play during computer lab or at classroom centers to practice math and language skills. Although simple, they provide fun review of skills. Demonstrate some of the activities on your interactive whiteboard. Although this site was created to help teachers find educational "fun" activities to do during indoor recess, the activities would also be great for learning centers or use in an interactive whiteboard center. The reading category for this site is the most valuable for learning new skills or reviewing skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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QuizSlides - London South Bank University

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create your own slides for a quiz using PowerPoint or PDF. Upload them to this site to be shared via your personal url or link to any website. Create a ...more
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Create your own slides for a quiz using PowerPoint or PDF. Upload them to this site to be shared via your personal url or link to any website. Create a quiz including a title and end slide. Each question should include four possible choices for an answer with one correct response. Up to 40 questions can be posted. Take the test yourself to identify correct responses; then the quiz is ready to share. Options include quizzes for anonymous users with an "answer until right" format or exam mode where you identify yourself at the start and are given points based on responses. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, be sure to view the video at home for more instruction about how to use this site.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (95), slides (60), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes for review before tests. Share the link with students to use at home. Have students create their own PowerPoint quizzes and upload for sharing with other class members. Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year by asking quiz questions. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on your projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do alone. Learning support teachers can have small groups create review quizzes as a way of studying without realizing it!

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Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Grades
K to 12
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Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced...more
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Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced Assessments link to view an overview of practice assessments, suggestions for use of the assessments, and discussion of items and task types. Find PDF's including Common Core standards and introductions to the standards under the K-12 Education/Teacher tab. The site is continually developing and working toward the 2014-2015 first school year implementation of the new assessments. Stay connected and informed of new resources by signing up for their email newsletter.

tag(s): commoncore (92), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Find Common Core resources to use in your classroom and share within your building or district. Explore and view sample test items to use as models for building your own questions aligned to Common Core standards. Display sample test items on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to solve and discuss together as a class. Challenge students to create their own similar questions for the class to try.

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Problem-Attic - EducAide Software

Grades
6 to 12
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Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select,...more
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Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select, arrange, and format questions as desired. Select questions by browsing topics or exams. Add items as desired to your document with the link provided. Drag and drop selections into any order such as easy to hard, all multiple choice items together, etc. Choose a template for how questions should look. Choose other options such as allowing room for students to show work and printing an answer key. Preview your document until it is complete then print in PDF format.

tag(s): assessment (99), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Save this site as an excellent practice for end of year testing, state tests, and national tests. Use Problem-Attic to personalize learning for students. Share this tool on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom to prepare for state testing. Challenge your students to create (and print) practice tests for other students. Coaches for academic competitions can use this site for team practice. Teachers of gifted can use it for students to practice for out-of-level testing used to screen students for special gifted opportunities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Opus - Common Core Math Problems for Middle School - opusmath.com

Grades
6 to 9
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Search for problems and build assignments for middle school math using Opus. Begin by searching the Common Core standards list or choose a grade level and a topic content. Click ...more
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Search for problems and build assignments for middle school math using Opus. Begin by searching the Common Core standards list or choose a grade level and a topic content. Click to view available problems. You can click thumbs up or down to find more problems similar to what you are searching for. You can also choose to highlight all of a particular topics (such as probability). Tick the box next to problems to save. When finished, choose to save problems in a Word or Google Document. Generate answer sheets using your Opus account, if desired. An Opus account is required to save and generate documents. Create your account using your name, email, and a password.

tag(s): angles (86), area (65), charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), fractions (239), functions (70), multiples (34), number lines (22), percent (82), probability (130), pythagorean theorem (34), ratios (52), square roots (24), statistics (122), test prep (95), transformations (17), volume (46)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use Opus as a resource for math problems aligned to Common Core standards. Don't keep this site to yourself! Create your own homework or review sheets using problems found on Opus. Use this tool to create individualized "study guides" for students to use to better prepare for state testing. You can easily differentiate to find the specific topics that certain students are struggling to understand. Better yet, have students choose their own topics to investigate and study. Share with students to use as a problem bank for additional practice in all common core and middle school math skills. Provide this link on your class website, wiki, or blog for student practice at home.

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Professor Word - professorword.com

Grades
8 to 12
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ProfessorWord is a free bookmarklet to get the definition of any word within any website. Click to identify more than 5,000 SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Install the bookmarklet on...more
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ProfessorWord is a free bookmarklet to get the definition of any word within any website. Click to identify more than 5,000 SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Install the bookmarklet on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. Click on the bookmarklet while on any Internet page to highlight SAT or ACT vocabulary words on the page. Highlight any word to view definitions through the bookmarklet. View the Daily Reader on the site's blog to find three reading selections full of vocabulary words. Teacher accounts (coming soon, at the time of this review) will allow teachers to oversee a group of student accounts, assign readings, and track student progress: articles read, words looked up and saved, and more. The introduction video (how to) is 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): dictionaries (55), test prep (95), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Install the Professor Word bookmarklet on the computer that is hooked up to your interactive whiteboard. Use as needed to find word definitions or highlight and discuss SAT/ACT terms. Share this site with students as a resource for finding definitions and reviewing vocabulary. List this link on your class website for student to use both in and out of the classroom. Use the Daily Reader portion of the site as a resource for introducing SAT/ACT vocabulary terms. As your students work with informational texts, have them form an approximate "definition" of unknown words from context as they read, then check the actual definition using this tool.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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QuizBean - Bluehouse Group

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then...more
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QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then add quiz answer options. These will be the same two answers for every question. Write the question in the next screen. Add as many additional questions as desired. When completed, save and share via your unique QuizBean URL or send via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Responses receive a correct or incorrect notification. A running total of responses displays on the right side of the screen. Although this site is recommended for all grades, with elementary students the teacher should create the QuizBean for students (with their input). The home page features titles of quizzes created by current users (general public). Check the site before sharing it with students. Displayed on the front page are the most recent quizzes For example, at the time of this review, there were quizzes about beer preference.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (95), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

This site would be great for review in many subject areas. Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a QuizBean for early elementary students to identify nouns and verbs, animals and plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, healthy or unhealthy foods, etc. Have students identify Union or Confederate items for Civil War studies. In Science challenge students to categorize animals as mammal or reptile. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material already known. Challenge students to create their own QuizBean for others to use for review and post a link to the quizzes on the class website or blog. Create this-or-that quizzes for ESL/ELL students as they learn English, and then as they start writing to identify proper subject verb and subject pronoun agreement.

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MindMup: Zero-friction online mind mapping - Gojko Adzic, Damjan Vujnovic, David de Florinier

Grades
K to 12
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) ...more
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) to add or edit ideas. Use the mouse to drag and drop nodes. The mouse can also be used to scroll the map (drag the central node, or anywhere outside the map). As soon as you change a map, the Save button appears in the toolbar. Click it and your new map gets a unique URL. Every time you save, the map gets a new URL. Just copy and share the URL with colleagues and friends. You can also use one of the options in the Share toolbar (top-right) to send it to a social networking site. Anyone can edit the map, but won't change your original copy. The best part of this simple/easy site: no registration required!

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

This free organizational tool can be used in classrooms at every level. Use this tool to help organize learning units and share the organization on screen so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents. Highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit, and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Have students use this tool for direction in problem based learning situations. Use this tool in science for collecting data, experiments, or science fair outlines. Use the tool in writing class to make writing guides for narrative or expository writing. In reading use for predictions, sequencing of stories, inferences, or organizing genres of books each student has read. Have students map multiple ways to solve a single problem in math class. Have students keep daily requirements or schedules with readily available resources as links. Let students enjoy taking notes from content based classes. Have a student scribe create the notes each day and share with the class. Have student groups map the current unit before the test as a review activity. Or use an ongoing map as a whole class visual diagram of concepts learned, adding new knowledge throughout a unit. Don't miss the chance to color code to "sort" ideas and concepts!

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TV411 - Reading - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about reading comprehension, test prep, and libraries and books at TV411. Each video includes a short description...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about reading comprehension, test prep, and libraries and books at TV411. Each video includes a short description of contents, then just click to view the video. Below the video text includes skills addressed. For example, the video Dorothea Lange, Photographer addresses the skill of reading pictures. Skills addressed include summarizing, point of view, newspapers, highlighting, and study skills. Most videos are approximately three to five minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print-ables to download. Although this site was originally created for adult English language learners, it would be useful with all secondary students.

tag(s): context clues (8), maps (287), news (261), newspapers (94), poetry (229), point of view (9), summarizing (13), word study (80)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard as part of your reading comprehension or study skills unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to certain videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for improving or introducing skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions for study skills and improving reading comprehension. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This is an excellent site with a variety of short videos for concept instruction. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Vocabulary Web Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation...more
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Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation concepts. Activities include Magical Capitals, Comma Chameleon, Adjective Adventure, and more. More advanced (secondary+) activities include practice SAT and GRE prep vocabulary, medical vocabulary, and computer vocabulary using a flash card format. Play word games such as word scramble and hangman with other interactive games on this site.
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tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (217), parts of speech (68), puzzles (208), test prep (95), verbs (41), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Create links to games and practice vocabulary on classroom computers for students to practice language arts skills. Have students preparing for the SAT/ACT or GRE take vocabulary quizzes to find unknown words. Complement this site by creating your own vocabulary flash cards using an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bubble Test Form Generator - Answer Sheets - Catpin Productions

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Do your students have trouble filling in the bubbles? Create free bubble sheets for assessments. Carefully fill in the fields as you scroll down the page. Blank boxes will not ...more
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Do your students have trouble filling in the bubbles? Create free bubble sheets for assessments. Carefully fill in the fields as you scroll down the page. Blank boxes will not appear on the test form. Change font sizes for the text, and provide directions in English or Spanish. Format your bubble columns and styles that best meet your assessment needs. Select a variety of other graphic styles that are not necessarily "normal" looking bubbles. Various styles of math grids are available. Choose from a menu of miscellaneous options to add some creativity to your test form. Include scoring boxes for evaluation and comments. Include registration marks for automated test marking machines. Select the "Test ID" option to reprint your form at a later date. The ID number will appear on your form. All data is saved for future retrieval (1-2 months). Create a test key by printing a bubble sheet on a clear transparency. Use a permanent pen to mark the correct answers on the test key.
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tag(s): assessment (99), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Are your students in trouble with the bubble? Provide them with a daily double bubble form. Introduce your students to the many different styles of testing early in the school year. Create forms that mirror graphics, a feelings chart, fact/opinion, music staffs, and many other options. Go beyond the bubble and have students analyze assessment results. Tired of grading? Use the registration marks to create forms for automated testing machines. Students can self-correct using test keys. Get instant results for faster analysis. Give your younger students regular practice with bubbles by creating a "lunch count" bubble sheet students fill in "packing" or "buying" or a daily attendance check in sheet.

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