TeachersFirst's Summer Sparklers

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Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on to what you already know, you will savor these safe, reviewer-recommended resources. Be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and family. Teachers will want to share this page with students departing for summer break.

Summer will never be "boring" again! 

 

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Story Jumper - storyjumper.com

Grades
2 to 8
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Story Jumper helps you write and illustrate stories in just seven steps-- then share them online. Begin by selecting a story format and accompanying graphic. Manipulate the text and...more
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Story Jumper helps you write and illustrate stories in just seven steps-- then share them online. Begin by selecting a story format and accompanying graphic. Manipulate the text and add other items to the picture that forms with each addition to the story. You also change the background and upload photos. Add original drawings, as well. When finished with a particular scene, go on to the next page by clicking the arrow. In order to save and share stories online, writers must complete a free registration. Although there is an option to buy the finished story in print format, this is not necessary to use the site. There is a complete guide for the teacher-friendly Classroom Edition offering detailed directions for setting up class accounts, etc.

tag(s): writing (368)

In the Classroom

Although the sentences and graphics available appear juvenile, the fact that writers can delete the text and add their own original text, photos, and drawings makes this site flexible enough to use with older students, as well. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Ask your students to visit the site and create an online book with their original writings, drawings, and photos. ESL and ELL students will be able to use the site easily, and will learn appropriate sentence structure and add to their vocabulary by selecting new items to put into the graphic. Older students can also create "little buddy" books for younger students to read and share.

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Tate Kids - Tate Gallery

Grades
1 to 6
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Winner of a 2009 Youth Webby Award, Tate Kids connects the art of the past and present to the world of blogging, on-line activities, storytelling, and craft making. Each project ...more
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Winner of a 2009 Youth Webby Award, Tate Kids connects the art of the past and present to the world of blogging, on-line activities, storytelling, and craft making. Each project cleverly weaves in a child friendly art history or theory lesson. Features such as "Tate Paint" invite viewers to create and share their own animated masterpiece on-line. Students can select pieces from the Tate Kids Collection or upload their own artwork into the "My Gallery" space and create a personal virtual museum available to visitors around the world. This site screens all submissions before they appear on-line and provides safety tips for children to review with an adult. Signing up for the "My Gallery" option requires a username and password, but no email address is required. Create a sunset reminiscent of Joseph Turner's paintings or experiment body movements suggestive of Bruce Nauman's performance art. Activities such as these and many more craft ideas are located on the "Tate Create" page. The site includes a complete list of materials, procedures, and helpful hints needed for the activities. Each lesson is kid tested at the Tate Gallery itself and corresponds to works of art either on display at the Tate or a part of their permanent collection. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): creativity (120), dance (27), england (55)

In the Classroom

You will also find a complete list of materials, procedures, and helpful hints needed for the activities. Connect these tasks to a literature study unit or as art projects. The website's on-line activities and films are all compatible with an interactive whiteboard. Some lessons contain black line masters of artwork that are available for download. If you plan on using the "My Gallery" feature with your class, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to set up individual accounts on on-line sites. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access during summer break or for creative family activities at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading Suggestions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
This site, created by our teacher-editors, offers a reading list for students in all grades. Simply click on the grade level that you wish to explore and a book list ...more
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This site, created by our teacher-editors, offers a reading list for students in all grades. Simply click on the grade level that you wish to explore and a book list will be provided. Most books offer a short description and some link to other titles by the same author. New titles are added frequently, so be sure to check back.

In the Classroom

Save this site on your classroom computers' favorites, so students can easily access the site to find new books to read! Share this link on your class website. This is an excellent resource to provide for summer reading.

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Computer Lab Favorites - Scholastic

Grades
K to 5
9 Favorites 0  Comments
  
All of the activities at this site are designed to take 15-30 minutes and include language arts, math, science, social studies, and Spanish. You can also choose your grade levels: ...more
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All of the activities at this site are designed to take 15-30 minutes and include language arts, math, science, social studies, and Spanish. You can also choose your grade levels: k-2 or 3-5. There are over 50 interactive stories and activities here to share. Examples of activities include Rhyme with Reggie, Myth Brainstorming Machine, Practice Counting Stars, Figure out a Pizza Puzzle, Tour the Mayflower, Build a Plane, Build a Dinosaur, Play Sports on the Moon, Make Weather Happen, and countless others.

If you click on the Student View a spinning wheel will appear. Students can spin to choose a random activity! Many of these activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), pilgrims (16), poetry (221), preK (293), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. Introduce this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If a student finishes early and needs some enrichment or is struggling and needs some extra practice, look here for some interactive help! Share this site on your class website for students to access outside of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Arcademic Skill Builders - Arcademics

Grades
1 to 9
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work...more
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Looking for engaging interactives for math, language arts, geography, and even more? Look no further than this colorful site. These activities are great ways to build skills and work on math and language arts concepts for all students. The activities are divided into multi-player and single player games in such categories as "Addition and Subtraction," "Multiplication and Division," and "Fraction and Ratios." There are also language arts interactives! Looking for how teachers can find success with these games? View the "Success Stories" at the bottom to find innovative ways that teachers have used the games in classrooms. Click the "Play on the Wii" link for great games optimized for use with this gaming system. Some schools may find problems with the multi-player games playing correctly. Step by step instructions for troubleshooting are available on the "FAQ: Firewall Info" link. Access information for Standards, Research, and a game manual across the top of the website. To choose a game, roll your mouse over it to see its title, then click. Read the quick introduction to understand the activity. Provide direction in whether students should enter a player name or use the randomly generated name from the site. Choose to create a new game or join an existing game. Create a private game if you wish, which requires password creation. No email address or personal information is required for these excellent practice activities.

tag(s): addition (223), division (159), fractions (225), multiplication (210), ratios (62), subtraction (184), verbs (39), vision (77), vowels (12)

In the Classroom

Use these games for individual practice for students who need extra help. The instant feedback provides great learning opportunities for students and builds confidence. Group students in multi-player games that is engaging and interactive. Focus on students' honing skills, building confidence and working together as a group of learners. Use these activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector to elicit large group participation or when computers are limited. Provide this link on your class website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Hunt - ThanksUSA

Grades
4 to 12
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ThanksUSA is a site dedicated to raising money to support the families of those serving in the armed forces. The centerpiece of the site is a virtual treasure hunt focused ...more
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ThanksUSA is a site dedicated to raising money to support the families of those serving in the armed forces. The centerpiece of the site is a virtual treasure hunt focused on the history of the United States. Each year there is a new theme. This year the focus in on the histories of Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Rhode Island, along with the histories of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps and the history of ThanksUSA. There are crosswords, wordokus, word searches, kakuros, anagrams and more at the end of each chapter as you try to unlock that chapter's treasure chest. Although the site requires registration to access the treasure hunt (FREE), the game can be played on line, or by downloading materials and printing them out. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

The long term nature of the treasure hunt would make this a good enrichment activity or extra credit project for students. Alteratively, the class could act as a team and undertake one chapter at a time as an ongoing project. The project might also make a good summer enrichment opportunity for students, be good for home schools, or work well with summer day camp groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Starfall - Starfall Education

Grades
K to 3
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension...more
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Find interactive reading activities for emergent/beginning readers at Starfall. It combines instruction in letter-sound relationships, word recognition skills, and reading comprehension strategies. Seasonal activities can also be found on the main page. The four "levels" of reading at Starfall include "ABCs," "Learn to Read," "It's Fun to Read," and "I'm Reading." There is also a premium option, this review is only for the free interactives. The app (available on iOs, Google Play and Kindle Fire) offers more free intereactives than the web version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (177), phonics (71)

In the Classroom

This website could be used for an entire class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You could also set up a learning center for use during your L.A. block. Use this site to differentiate reading levels for your students. Be certain to save this site in your class favorites and list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Johns Hopkins University CTY Program - The Johns Hopkins University

Grades
2 to 12
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Created by the Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth at the Johns Hopkins University, this site contains comprehensive information for teachers of gifted students in upper...more
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Created by the Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth at the Johns Hopkins University, this site contains comprehensive information for teachers of gifted students in upper elementary grades through middle school. Highlights include information about summer programs for students in grades 2-12, summer employment opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers interested in becoming involved in CTY summer programs, the CTY talent search, student application information, ability and achievement testing, recommended publications and resources, and available services for interested schools and teachers.

tag(s): gifted (90)

In the Classroom

Share this link with your parents of gifted students.

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C Beebie's Stories and Rhymes - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also...more
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This collection of online written and oral interactive stories features British pronunciation, but the story clips are short and easy to understand. Many of the characters are also on American television (64 Zoo Lane, Teletubbies, Jakers, and others). Students will enjoy learning clicking to the next page of the story as they view the animation and frequent rhyming sequences. Some of the stories also require readers to click on elements of the story in order for it to continue, or to hear special dialog. All the stories are also available in print format. The home part of the site keeps track of the places readers have looked at and offers games and links to other C Beebie features.

This site requires Flash and Windows Media or similar player. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): interactive stories (31), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

Add this link to your classroom computer for students to use for extra reading practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set this site up as a learning center (or using individual computers, if available). Don't forget the headsets! List this link on your class website. Use free printouts to reinforce what was learned in the stories and for students to take home or do as homework. The "Watch and Listen" link at the left will take parents to a page where they can download podcast versions of the stories to take in the car!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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AlgebraLAB - Mainland High School

Grades
7 to 12
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AlgebraLAB highlights the connection between algebra (and many other math subjects) and science. Although this website may appear as an in-depth informational algebra site, there...more
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AlgebraLAB highlights the connection between algebra (and many other math subjects) and science. Although this website may appear as an in-depth informational algebra site, there is A LOT more to explore! AlgebraLAB includes 10+ links to various topics: Lessons, Practice, Careers (how Algebra and science are used in countless careers), Directions (offers insight on how to use this site), Word Problems, Study Aids, a Glossary, and several others. Many activities are interactive. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): calculators (42), coordinates (31), equations (148), vectors (25)

In the Classroom

This informational site is a MUST HAVE in any secondary math class. Be certain to save this site in your favorites. The site highlights countless algebra topics (and other math areas). Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the link on your class website so students can access the site both in and out of the classroom. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the topics presented at the lessons or activities link. Have the groups create a video to share what they learned. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector using a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Differentiate! You can easily find extension activities for your more-able students to do while you reinforce the basics with others.

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Kidscamps.com

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive directory lists thousands of summer learning opportunities for kids of all ages. Day and overnight camp choices include those focusing on sports, special needs, family,...more
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This comprehensive directory lists thousands of summer learning opportunities for kids of all ages. Day and overnight camp choices include those focusing on sports, special needs, family, self-improvement, arts, adventure, and academics. The site also includes advice for parents about selecting, paying, and packing for summer camp.

tag(s): summer (11)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website during the Spring.

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KENKEN - Nextoy, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these...more
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The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these puzzles appear very similar to Sudoku puzzles. They have a few added components (more math and logic required). There are various levels of difficulties (3x3 puzzles through 9x9 puzzles). For 3x3 puzzles, you use only numbers 1-3, for 4x4 puzzles you use only numbers 1-4, and so on. At the time of our review of this brand-new puzzle, the 3x3 puzzles had not been created. But they add new puzzles daily, so check back! The rules are simple: each number can only be used once in any row or column. There are also "cages" which are represented by heavily outlined sets of squares. The goal is to produce the target number (in the corner of the cage). Numbers can be repeated within one cage, just so the number is not already in the row or column. Want to learn more? View the How to Play link that includes written instructions and a tutorial video. Puzzles are also PRINTABLE. Don't miss the link for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (223), division (159), logic (236), multiplication (210), puzzles (204), subtraction (184), sudoku (17), vision (77)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore the puzzles on their own. Use this site to differentiate for various students. Be certain to save this site in your favorites and check back often. List this link on your class website so students can "play" both in and out of the classroom. Have older students attempt to create their own KENKEN puzzles. It's not as easy as you think.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vacations - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 9
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Explore vocabulary and word activities related to vacations on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using vacation...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to vacations on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using vacation vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): back to school (61), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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Big Huge Labs: Map Maker - John Watson: Big Huge Labs

Grades
2 to 12
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it ...more
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it on your blog or any webpage. Simply type in the title of your map, choose the land masses you wish to include, and then click on the correct boxes for your particular locations. When finished, click the You're Ready box at the bottom of the screen. Now scroll to the top to see what your map will look like. The embed code (geek-speak term for computer gobble-dee-gook that tells your computer how to find and display the map you have made) for your map is ready to copy and paste into your webpage. You can find the embed code to the right of the map. There is also a button to Reset and Start Over.

tag(s): maps (292)

In the Classroom

Create a map to track where your students went on summer vacation (or have ever traveled). Create a map of places you have visited in a work of literature, or where students have written about going on fantasy vacations. Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups work together to create maps related to lessons in your social studies, history, or literature classes. Embed multiple student project maps in your class wiki along with student writings that accompany the maps. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
    
The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures. "Lesson Plans" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Video tutorials can be found under the FAQs tab. "Explore the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Here is an example from one of the TeachersFirst reviewers: Come to the Edge. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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 ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (151), images (273), sentences (49)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URLs and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. The FAQs tab also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools. Find these under the Video Tutorials.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. A simpler alternative would be to use a bookmarking tool such as Buttons, reviewed here. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits using a tool like 3 x 3 Links, reviewed here, for a curriculum topic. Create or challenge students to create an online literary magazine using a tool such as Zinepal, reviewed here. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Story Starters - Scholastic

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Type your name and choose your grade level (K-1, 2, 3, or 4-6). Then get ready for the wheel to spin! You can spin four wheels to get a very ...more
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Type your name and choose your grade level (K-1, 2, 3, or 4-6). Then get ready for the wheel to spin! You can spin four wheels to get a very specific writing prompt. For example, Describe a vacation with a skinny cactus who loves country music. Each wheel produces a different part of the prompt. Each time the wheel spins, a new prompt is created. The prompts are created for the specified grade level and are highly creative. Be sure to check out the Teacher's Guide that offers learning objectives, specific lesson ideas, and printables.

Be warned: the "spinning" page has some rather loud audio sounds. Either turn up the volume and enjoy, or hit the mute button! This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creative writing (167), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Whether you are looking for a daily prompt for your students, or individual prompts for writing stations, you will find some creative ideas here. Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up writing stations and have students use this site to find their prompts. Use this site to differentiate for your gifted students by allowing them to choose a prompt at a higher grade level. List this link on your class website for some writing practice or extra credit writing exercises.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sharp Brains - Sharpbrains

Grades
6 to 12
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How...more
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How Your Brain Works, Attention, Memory, Pattern Recognition and Planning, Visual Workouts, Visual Illusions, Language and Logic, and others. Some of the activities are quick (less than a minute) while others require more time. The activities could be used in many subject areas; there are language activities, math, general logic, and even some for physical education.

Be aware: each mind stretcher activity includes a blog. Some of the blog comments may not be appropriate, so be sure to READ any blogs that you plan to share. You may want to make these activities a group challenge, rather than individual exploration. Many are interactive and require Flash or Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): brain (70), logic (236), puzzles (204), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Start your class (any subject area) with a mind stretcher or include this as part of a psychology or biology lesson on how the brain works. Share the puzzle or challenge on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students to create their own logic activities and create a class "Logic" wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Geni - Everyone's Related - Geni, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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This tool allows you to create an interactive family tree. Once you are registered, you can easily create a family tree. You are able to include family member's birth-dates, death-dates,...more
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This tool allows you to create an interactive family tree. Once you are registered, you can easily create a family tree. You are able to include family member's birth-dates, death-dates, email addresses, pictures, video clips, and more. This site also has the capacity to create timelines for births, deaths, weddings, divorces, education, occupation, and other important events and information.

tag(s): family (57), genetics (94), immigration (59), migration (58)

In the Classroom

This site is fairly simple to use. Join the site (free) and log in. Navigation of the site is simple. Click on Tree to start your family tree (or Timeline to use that free resource. For the family tree, arrows are provided to add family members. The arrows pointing up indicate a parent, arrows to the left or right are used to add a wife/husband or brother/sister, and arrows pointing down are used to add a son or daughter.

This site allows users to set-up their family tree or timeline as PRIVATE. It allows you to control who can and can't view your profile, family tree, and other information. For more information about this feature, visit the Settings link (on the top right corner). Before you plan your family tree project, be sure to get parental permission.

Possible Uses: Use this site to create family tree projects in elementary or middle school classes. Have high school students create family trees as part of an immigration unit studying patterns in social studies classes. In science class, have students create fictitious "people" as they study genetics. With younger students, create a class timeline sharing important dates for individuals (i.e. birthdays) and class dates (field trips, tests, or other special events). Have students share their family trees on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to "advertise" this project on your class website (and newsletter, if applicable) so students have time to gather names, birthdates, and other information about family members. In world language classes, have student create a family tree using the correct vocabulary for relatives and talk about it as they share it on the interactive whiteboard. When researching famous people, reading biographies, or even reading literature have students create a family tree illustrating their discoveries about their famous person, writer, artist, musician, explorer, literary character, etc.

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Poetry Everywhere Collection - WGBH Foundation

Grades
7 to 12
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This is an amazing site with 12 notable poems that include a Quicktime video of the poem reading- either by the poet or an animated enactment (i.e. Emily Dickinson). Each ...more
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This is an amazing site with 12 notable poems that include a Quicktime video of the poem reading- either by the poet or an animated enactment (i.e. Emily Dickinson). Each of the lessons includes a broad spectrum of activities, lesson plans, and PDF worksheets. While you do have to register to fully access the material, it is free. Registration does require an email address (for teacher domains only: lesson plans, activities, etc..), so students do not need to register to view the videos.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for something worthwhile as a quarter ending or are deeply involved in poetry, this site is great. Billy Collins reading "The Lanyard" is tough not to love and you can choose any of the included features to use or not. Because the site uses Quicktime, you have the option of replaying the video or pausing for discussion where you choose. Share the video on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is wonderful as a class discussion. Another use for this site is to assign different poems to small groups of students and have them explicate them and then present them to the class. You could even shock the world of traditional English class or school video news announcements with a video "poetry break" during Poetry Month (April). Why not video the presentations and share them using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sounds Factory - Austin Chang & John Foster

Grades
4 to 10
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This rhythmic website tells the story of a factory worker who is bored with his job. The activity challenges students to create various rhythms using the tools and equipment in ...more
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This rhythmic website tells the story of a factory worker who is bored with his job. The activity challenges students to create various rhythms using the tools and equipment in the factory, to keep the factory workers entertained. There is an animated introduction that describes the scenario. Descriptions and instructions are provided throughout the activity. Once your students are familiar with the site, you are able to skip the instructions. Note: this site is slow to load! Preview it on your classroom machines to get it into your "cache." This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): rhythm (21), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Introduce your music students to various rhythms and the interesting tools available to create music. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector (and speakers) to demonstrate the program. Then have students work with a partner to create their own music. Students can save and send recordings to friends, but this uses email addresses. Check your school policies or have them "send" the recordings to your teacher email for sharing. They might even "turn in" a music assignment that way!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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