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Thinkport tools - Maryland Public Television and John Hopkins University

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership...more
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This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership over their learning. Create your own activities or use the sample activities given with each tool. Use the Timeline Builder to easily create a simple but customizable timeline. Examine text for better understanding with the Annotate It! tool. Build spatial sense with the Pattern Builder that combines art and geometry in a fun to use tool. Create your own Museum is a great learning tool to decide what to showcase in any type of museum.

tag(s): museums (49), patterns (85), reading comprehension (116), timelines (62), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use these tools for any subject area and for any content. Be sure to look at the sample activities that are great to use as is or can stimulate thinking into your own projects. Use the timeline as an introduction to the first year by discussing their summer activities, major events in a students life, inventions or technology that made a difference in their life, events in their favorite book, and more. To understand content in perspective, create a timeline to be sure students understand why some events happen at particular times. For example, our understanding about biology greatly changes after the invention of the microscope. A great sample activity to Create your own Museum is the celebration of neighborhoods which can create a greater understanding about different people. Create a museum for each different kind of biome that showcases what would be found there. Create a museum for a time period in history but created by a specific group of people. View each of the museums and note the differences in what is portrayed using the lens of that various segment of the population. Create writings or blog posts portraying the differences in the museums and why these differences exist. Even young students can make a simple timeline of their own life of the life cycle of a butterfly to build the concept of linear representation of time.

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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Reader's Theatre Scripts and Plays - Colleen Gallagher

Grades
1 to 9
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Full of scripts and related materials for reader's theater, this site offers a wealth of information for the teacher who wants to use reader's theater as a tool for reading ...more
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Full of scripts and related materials for reader's theater, this site offers a wealth of information for the teacher who wants to use reader's theater as a tool for reading or drama. Some of the links don't work, but many do, and you can find actual scripts as well as other ideas for making reader's theater a complete experience for students. There are also guidelines for setting up reader's theatre, rubrics for evaluation, and ideas for use with a range of grades and reading levels.

Editor's note: There is one group of links (to sites that start with "hometown.aol") that no longer work. Since this is only a small portion of the site, TeachersFirst continues to list the resource for its many GOOD links. Roll your mouse over the links before clicking and check the address in the gray bar at the bottom left of your screen. Don't bother with the hometown.aol links.
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tag(s): readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites, then let student groups select from scripts to record their own audio podcasts or create a Thinglink, reviewed here, of a tale, illustrated with a selection of copyright-safe images or student drawings. Or have students make a high-tech excerpt from a reader's theater script by creating avatars to read each part using Voki, reviewed here. Sequence the embedded conversation bits on a class wiki so viewers can enjoy the performance by clicking through them in order. These wiki excerpts could be used to "advertise" an upcoming performance or a featured literary piece.

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
42 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership in this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or using templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire thing online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books in a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), writing (359)

In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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PocketMod - PocketMod.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space ...more
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This VERY simple tool lets you or your students make simple, folded small booklets that fit in a pocket. You choose what will appear on each page: from blank space to lines to calendars or checklists. Then print the single sheet (and run copies!) for a student "organizer" useful for homework assignments, long-term project deadlines, checklists, even student-made study guides. Students use the booklets the old fashioned way: by WRITING in them; but the clever, customizable format lets you teach organizational skills in a way that works.

See a sample PocketMod checklist, notes, and calendar booklet (with a separate page of folding directions) and one made from a PDF of the Pennsylvania Science and Technology Standards, converted using the free downloadable software.
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tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Go to PocketMod and follow the simple drag-and-drop visual screen to create the PocketMod from their many organizer options. Print and fold (NO Acrobat Reader required). More skilled users should consider downloading the free "PDF to PocketMod" converter that will take any pdf document and format it to the small, foldable format. If you have handouts in pdf format or can make them from your scanner/copier, you can make ANYTHING into a PocketMod. The converter assumes you have Acrobat Reader.

Have students design their own study guides before a chapter test or maintain a project checklist to be submitted along with the completed project to build better organizational skills. Warning: Students will quickly learn that PocketMod is a great way to make CHEAT SHEETS. Be forewarned of student cleverness!
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst: The Highwayman - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool ...more
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool or a review for those who need a refresher on poetic devices.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Share the start of the poem on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then turn students or partners loose to explore the poem and discover the details on laptops or at home. Extend the unit by challenging groups or individual students to create their own visual interpretations of a stanza using a tool such as GlogsterEDU reviewed here.

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Daytum - Ryan Case and Nicholas Feltron

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up ...more
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Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up to 1000 different things to be counted.) Also determine the category the items can be placed into (use up to 24 different categories in the free account.) Add a statement panel to your display panel to add notes and make comments about the data. Be sure to click the How To at the bottom of the home page to learn how to use the Daytum site. Also click the "Watch A Screencast" link for additional help. Data can also be collected via text or Twitter tweets.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (42), statistics (122), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Some of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.

Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)

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Clockwords - Gabob

Grades
4 to 8
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing...more
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing delight. Find words including specified letters, and defend to eliminate the invading bugs. Different games offer different levels to make a challenging game. At the time of this review, Act 1 of the activity is available. Act 2 and 3 will be coming soon. Compete against other players from all over the world to achieve the high score. In order to compete against others, a valid email address is required. Be sure to check with your school to conform to guidelines on student email use. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. The option for a free installation on your computer allows this game readily available.

tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, use Clockwords as a center activity, reward activity, or team game with your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students by using vocabulary words from science, math, or language arts. Within your class, look for high scores among students or teams. Be sure to provide this link on your class website. Incorrectly spelled words are not counted as valid words. Help this by supplying a dictionary or an online dictionary link.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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22Frames.com - 22frames.com

Grades
5 to 12
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This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages,...more
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This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages, and those who need language support in general. You can search for videos by categories which are constantly being updated. Find current events, music, and more. In addition to offering the captioning with the news clips, all news items offer "tags" to provide some important vocabulary. Also, there are separate sections on the website for common mispronunciations, idioms, and slang, targeted specifically at ESL/ELL students. You should preview and preselect the videos rather than allowing students to randomly search at this site, since some content may not be fitting for your classroom. Many schools block YouTube, so verify availability at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hearing impaired (6), news (261)

In the Classroom

If filtering blocks your at-school access, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school. World language students will enjoy hearing the news in other languages, but also seeing the English translations. If you have students in your classroom who are reading below grade level, have them watch the video twice: once to listen to the words, and the second time to read along with the dialog. Have students view these sample videos and then work in cooperative learning groups to create their own videos on topics they are currently learning in science, current events, or nearly any other subject area. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. High school social studies classes can compare news coverage from different countries/cultures about the same event to analyze the "spin" or bias.

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Shareaholic.com - shareaholic.com

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free Firefox or Chrome add-on to quickly share sites and content with others in your network. Download the add-on and click the Shareaholic button to share what you ...more
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Use this free Firefox or Chrome add-on to quickly share sites and content with others in your network. Download the add-on and click the Shareaholic button to share what you are reading easily with others. Customize the add-on to offer only the ways you want to share by choosing only certain services such as: Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Delicious or Google Reader.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

After installing this add-on, choose the applications you wish to share on the next screen by simply clicking on the names. Protect your settings by creating a username and password. Click profile to create your account. Click on the connections tab to allow Shareaholic to access your Facebook account among others.

Use this service where add-ons are allowed to be used on the computers. Recommend only the services allowed by your district such as Google Reader or Diigo. Students can easily share with their classmates using approved services. Students should be made aware of proper sharing of information and consequences for inappropriate use.

Use this browser add-on to quickly and easily share with others, generating a library of information (articles, bookmarks, and other data) that all students can use. For example, when studying the animal kingdom, world wars, works of Shakespeare, or other content, assign students the task of collectively sharing articles and sites that they find to enhance the learning of all students in the classroom. Consider assigning each group a different aspect of the information to be found which would result in an unbelievable bank of links for the entire unit of study. Decide which service you would wish to use such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, & bookmarklets.

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Preceden - Matt Mazur

Grades
3 to 12
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the...more
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the sequence of events in several different ways. You can input your own time increments such as by day, week, month, year, decade, etc. In addition, you can create your own labels for events. You need to create a FREE account to make a timeline. Timelines can be embedded on your blog or shared by url.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Create an ever-growing timeline throughout the school year by adding events discussed in class so students understand where events relate to each other in history. Create a timeline with events in American History and add a layer of authors' works to connect literature's time periods to history.

Have your students use Preceden to create a timeline of their life and their family's life. Then use events from their life for writing a memoir, poetry, etc. Science students could create a timeline for the stages of mitosis for a cell or the life cycle of a forest or an animal. Have students in government or history create timelines related to topics you are learning about in class.

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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EZSchool - EZSchool

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements,...more
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EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements, it is easy to navigate by grade level, subject, or more specific topics such as grammar, writing, and vocabulary for English, or word problems, geometry, and algebra for math, biology and chemistry for science, as well as Spanish, Japanese, and Hindi language activities. There are also SAT/PSAT practice questions with detailed answers. All materials are free to use, print, and distribute for use in the classroom or at home. The website is frequently updated with new activities. Weekly updates to the site are offered on the home page.

tag(s): grammar (216), japan (61), japanese (42), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Reinforce learning with these supplemental materials. Your students may practice as much as they want - for free! Print worksheets to leave in a folder for emergency substitute lesson plans or for homework, provide the link on your classroom web page or wiki for students to easily access from any computer, and project the interactives and other learning activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. You will love using the cool online tool, Ad Out, (reviewed here), that makes the page you are using ad free. Note that some websites may be blocked. Also, check on your school computers to make sure that iAd Outis not blocked by your district's filter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cycles vs. Checklists: Fostering Creative Process in an Accountability World - TeachersFirst/Candace Hackett Shively

Grades
6 to 12
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Accountability for curriculum creates a tug-of-war with creativity in the data-driven world of education. Find ideas and examples for respecting and incorporating students' creative...more
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Accountability for curriculum creates a tug-of-war with creativity in the data-driven world of education. Find ideas and examples for respecting and incorporating students' creative process as an overlay to even the most restrictive curriculum in these pages, originally part of a presentation by Candace Hackett Shively at the ISTE 2011 conference. Take a high-level look at what theorists and practicing "creative people" say about creative process, and find practical ways to make that process a habit in your classroom. Download customizable assignments and rubrics as examples to use with middle and high school students. This resource is a "macro" overview of creative process, companion to the "micro" (skills based) analysis offered in our Dimensions of Creativity pages.

tag(s): creativity (109)

In the Classroom

Teachers in any subject will find ideas for fostering creativity in their classroom, especially with students developmentally ready to talk about their own creative process (usually middle school and up). Make this professional information a discussion item among your teaching peers and with parents. Share it with colleagues for an informal inservice session. Use the many resources to help students discover their own creative process just as you would help them discover their learning styles. Make creative process a habit in your class assignments through electronic idea bins and more.

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Hands Off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Learning - TeachersFirst/Candace Hackett Shively

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally...more
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If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally accompanied a presentation by Candace Hackett Shively at the ISTE 2011 conference. Find specific ideas and web tools for making the IWB a student tool and avoiding the trap of being a teacher-Vanna (or Vance). See examples and classroom management tips to share this kinesthetic learning tool among students and leverage its capabilities in student-centered activities. The presentation is brand-agnostic, though some of the examples use SMART brand software (viewable with SMART Notebook Express, a free online tool, reviewed here). There are downloadable handouts and files along with the many suggestions.

tag(s): iwb (31)

In the Classroom

Teachers in any subject and grade level will find ideas for IWB learning in their classroom. Make this professional information a self-guided tour to improve your use of a new or existing IWB. Share it with colleagues for an informal inservice session. Everything is here for you to explore and learn. If you are in charge of leading professional development about IWBs, this new perspective on student-centered use will send Vanna packing and inspire many new avenues for learning.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MixedInk - MixedInk, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these...more
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these tips tips to accomplish this. Mixed Ink is a general site for all kinds of writers, but this review directs you to the educator area. You can use MixedInk for any writing assignments, debates, speeches, student council proposals, editorials, and whatever else you can think of. All of MixedInk authorships are tracked automatically and color-coded. Students can comment on submissions and rate different versions to identify the best. There are at least two demo videos, and these can be embedded on your website for student reference. This program uses Java.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), six traits of writing (8), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Remember the fun activity where students are given a sentence starter and told to write the introduction to the story, students then pass their part of the story to someone else, and the next person writes the next part of the story? Well, MixedInk is this fun activity on steroids! It is so powerful! You can assign your students to write about anything and they can collaborate together, on something as serious as an inquiry project.

If you are using the Six Traits writing program, reviewed here and here this is the perfect place for your students to put their writing and get feedback. Students can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color coded so you will know what has been contributed and what is original.

If you work with a few gifted students in ANY subject and want them to push their ideas beyond the basics, set up a separate class in Mixed Ink (even if the students are not actually IN the same class). Include gifted students from different classes you and other teachers have -- or even students from other schools if you know their teachers. Challenge them to collaborate on higher level thinking questions, writing challenges that require more research to support their arguments, or real world problems such as convincing a legislator to support a new bill. Have them use Mixed Ink to collaborate on their draft and argue among themselves about the best support for their thesis. For a more creative option, have them write a continuing "story" with each student contributing the next episode-- perhaps using terms and concepts your classes are studying. Imagine them composing "A Month in the Life of a Flea" during your study of insects. Of course, they will need to have email addresses to register, and you will want parent permission for online interactions with students outside you own classroom.

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Getting to Know You Ideas from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
18 Favorites 1  Comments
 
TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community. ...more
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TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community.

In the Classroom

Try these activities from TeachersFirst to help you and your students get to know each other early in the school year or for a "fresh start" for a new semester or move-in students.

Comments

I love the ideas and activities for helping students get to know each other early on in the new school year. In the Headstart program we focus on parent involvement and I like to do activities that involve the parents and help them to get to know each other as well. The classroom and education experience is so much more successful when everyone is working together: children , families, and teachers. Teresa, FL, Grades: 0 - 1

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Dropbox - Dropbox

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Save files to the cloud and access on a variety of computers and devices. Download Dropbox on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Dropbox ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access on a variety of computers and devices. Download Dropbox on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Dropbox and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Simply copy, save, or move the document into Dropbox. Easily sync and share. Revert to previous versions of the document for up to 30 days (for the free version.) No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem as your Dropbox file stays in Dropbox and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Dropbox files with other users for easy collaboration. Apps for Dropbox are available (at the time of this review) for iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Droid. Now share files and folders with others by clicking on "Get Link." Share the link with others even if they do not have a Dropbox account. What could be better? You can continue to add to the folder and those you share with will see every new addition! This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (200), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Dropbox can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using word can be used with Dropbox. Use this site to help all of your students (gifted, learning support, ADD) stay organized. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Share whole files and folders with students easily!

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Drop It To Me - JAJAdesign

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so...more
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DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so that anyone you provide with this information can send you files. The files go to your Dropbox account. This is bigger and better than regular email. DropItToMe can accommodate files that are too large to be sent through regular email. This can also help when you may not be able to access email accounts because of filtering software and firewalls. Dropittome makes the need for access to email for sending documents obsolete. Note: Some schools block Dropbox, so check first!

tag(s): homework (44)

In the Classroom

This tool would be mighty handy for online assignments and anything that is completed digitally. Best of all, as the teacher you can set up one email account, share the password with all of your students, and they can send you files. They never need to access anything but this website. This is extremely handy for those who are conducting or pushing towards paperless classrooms.

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Connect With English - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This video program teaches ESL/ELL through a series of free episodes accompanied by summaries and learning activities. Students and classroom teachers will need to download additional...more
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This video program teaches ESL/ELL through a series of free episodes accompanied by summaries and learning activities. Students and classroom teachers will need to download additional plugins. Although the site does sell copies of the videos and other materials, enough material is free to make this a refreshing approach to learning. Since topics in the filmed lessons include those which ESL/ELL students most want to learn about, the use of these offerings may be a motivator.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), idioms (44), listening (91)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well for individual or pairs of ESL/ELL students in a lab or on laptops. Share the site so students can use it outside of class too. List the site on your class website, wiki, or blog. Many of the videos have the closed caption feature. If you have students in your language arts or special education classroom who are reading below grade level, have them watch the video once through, then turn on the closed caption option and have them watch it again reading along with the dialog.

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