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Bitstrips - Core Matrix

Grades
3 to 12
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the...more
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props and settings. Several actions are available: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, typing dialog into the bubbles, scaling items in the frame, rotating items, and more. There is a "Bitstrips for Schools" link; this feature does offer a 30-day free trial, however it is fee-based after 30-days.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.

Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).

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Simple Diagrams - Daniel McQuillen

Grades
5 to 12
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Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely...more
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Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely drag and drop icons from the available library onto either a chalkboard or a whiteboard background. Insert personal photos or type written notes on virtual index cards or post-its directly into a diagram. Select colors, adjust alignment, magnify or minimize images and arrange content in layers. One annoying feature of the free version is that it is constantly asking users to upgrade to the paid full version. The free version does not allow you to save their diagram but it is possible to export work as a PNG file on your computer. Insert the PNG file directly into a presentation or interactive whiteboard lesson. Simple Diagrams uses an Adobe AIR platform and runs smoothly on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), drawing (81), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Simple Diagrams is a useful tool for any subject area. Project diagrams onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and write upon them while lecturing. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of a lesson by creating a diagram of their own. For example, students can demonstrate the chain of events behind the French Revolution, map out battle strategies, or explain the cause and effect of Industrial Age with a diagram. Science teachers may want to ask students to explain the steps of a science experiment or explain a water cycle with a diagram. Solve word problems with diagrammatic illustrations or create family trees full of digital photographs. PE teachers may find this a great tool to use to use when discussing strategic plays or relay races. Suggest using diagrams as a study tool for finals. Simple Diagrams provides a unique opportunity for students to create a visual explanation of key concepts.

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Save the Words - Oxford Fajar

Grades
8 to 12
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If you love the study of words, and the use of etymology, this is a site for you and your students. Appealing to the eye is a wall of graffiti ...more
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If you love the study of words, and the use of etymology, this is a site for you and your students. Appealing to the eye is a wall of graffiti consisting of individual words; clicking on one will give you a window with the word, its meaning, and a sentence using it. You can "adopt" the word, which means you promise to use the word in conversation and correspondence "to the best of (your) ability." Also available is "adopt-a-word," "spread-the-word," "Word-a-day,""F.A.Q.s," and shopping to buy a shirt with any word you choose on it. You must be a registered user to "adopt a word," but viewing the words and definitions does not require any registration.

tag(s): vocabulary (325), word study (79)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to get students interested and excited about words. A good idea might be to have students "adopt" words and wear them in class on note cards or "Hello, my name is-" stickers. It could be a good way to spread the word about different words with other students, too. A variety of activities for adopting and spreading the word(s) could be developed by the students themselves, and a word-a-day posted on the board with "guess the definition" might be a good focusing activity at the beginning of the period. This would be an interesting site to share on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Randomly choose two words and have students write a short story incorporating the two new vocabulary words. Consider having students pick their own words at random and weave a story around those words for creative expression. Students can choose a word and determine the origin of the word, related words, etc. Encourage students to not click on the word but instead guess the meaning of the word first. Students can work alone or in groups to determine the meaning. Students can also use this idea to create their own word wall with words found in class or other words of the day. Why not create some interactive "wordplay" by having students write a cooperative wiki, creating sentences using the "word of the day." Assign cooperative learning groups a few new vocabulary words. Have the groups create news broadcasts or commercials incorporating the new vocabulary words. Share the videos using a site such as Teachertube (explained here). For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics for adopted word using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).
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Popplet - Notion, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check...more
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Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check out the features section and video tutorial found on the main page. A small amount of example Popplets appear on the main page for inspiration. Change the color of Popplets (mindmap boxes). Draw or insert images and videos from Flickr, Facebook, You Tube, and even your desktop. When you begin your Popplet, follow the mini tutorial that appears to quickly learn the features. Create up to 5 Popplets for free. Though Popplet looks simple and limited, it is probably one of the easiest to use. Have an iPad? Use the Popplet app!

tag(s): mind map (25), myplate (28)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the simple controls in this online tool. Videos and other information are found on the site and in your account page for a quick overview of learning the tool. If having difficulty saving the Popplet, be sure to remember to save a screenshot using the Print screen function on a PC or the Ctrl/shift/4 on a Mac.

Use this tool for brainstorming or creative planning. Create a concept map of facts or concepts in any subject area. Plan an experiment in Science. Determine the sequence of events in History. Create study materials that are easily edited and shared by others. The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or 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 My Plate food group portions in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (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, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, ...more
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, etc. You may be familiar with wikipedia, but wikis can be so much more! A recent poll of "high tech" educators cited wikis as the one web-based tool they could not live without! If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a detailed, step-by-step explanation and starter help, including dozens of ideas for ways to use a wiki in your classroom.

If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

Click through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.

See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.

Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."

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TeachersFirst's Audio Books with Text Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts.

tag(s): audio books (31), preK (291)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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TeachersFirst's Interactive Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with audio and visual prompts or interactivity to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment as they read. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the interactive books.

tag(s): audio books (31)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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TeachersFirst's Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment.

tag(s): audio books (31), listening (92), preK (291)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in...more
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. This collection of reviewed resources related to Twitter will help you get started using Twitter safely for your own learning and possibly expand into using Twitter for class connections with other classrooms. The information includes basic terms such as "hastags," and even features a "widget" to show current "tweets" by educator-specific hashtag groups. Watch the sidebar (if it is not blocked in your school) to get a sense of the sharing possible on Twitter.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @cshively, and we'll be sure to welcome you!

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Daily chart - The Economist

Grades
9 to 12
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Find interesting graphs and statistics that are published daily on this site by The Economist. Check back daily for new charts to use as openers for discussion and writings in ...more
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Find interesting graphs and statistics that are published daily on this site by The Economist. Check back daily for new charts to use as openers for discussion and writings in your classroom. This site does include some minor advertisements.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), data (150), statistics (125)

In the Classroom

Use the chart as a basis for writing prompts, fishbowl discussions, blog posts, and more. Create a wiki page about the background information of the chart. Consider using the topics here to conduct your own research and publish your own charts through a wiki or blog. Want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through
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Easy Prompter - Michael Drob

Grades
4 to 12
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Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the ...more
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Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the field, highlight words if desired, and then click "Start prompt." Click play on the next screen to start the prompter. Speed up or slow down the speed of the prompter using the "+" or "-" buttons. The size of the prompter text can also be increased easily. Users must be able to copy and past text from one application to another. Player controls look much like standard video player controls. Follow the demo to watch how it is used or take a few moments to play with it. Close the site, and the information in the prompter is lost. Want to use this without the Internet? Download the program (click "standalone portable version") for free and drag to a flash drive to have anywhere.

tag(s): speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
 
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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Grades
9 to 12
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The word-for-word text of the folio edition, courtesy of the University of Victoria, Canada. ...more
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The word-for-word text of the folio edition, courtesy of the University of Victoria, Canada.

tag(s): midsummer nights dream (5), shakespeare (133), summer (13)

In the Classroom

Post this site on your teacher web page for students to use as review both in and out of the classroom. The site provides a copy of the play and alternative links for summary and analysis of the play. Students needing assistance analyzing the play will love having this site on hand.

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Literary Tweets: 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter - Mashable

Grades
4 to 12
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Got Twitter? Then take a look at these 100+ authors to see if any of your favorites are listed, and start following them. Mashable has weeded out the authors who ...more
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Got Twitter? Then take a look at these 100+ authors to see if any of your favorites are listed, and start following them. Mashable has weeded out the authors who are just trying to sell you something on twitter. Their list only includes authors who are trying to carry on a conversation with their followers and present information they find valuable, whether it directly benefits them or not. Each author has a description, some of the books they have written, and an example tweet.

tag(s): authors (121), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

A whole class twitter account can follow favorite authors and authors' read through of class novels. The class can direct message them with questions about the book: how they came to write the story, are the characters based on anyone the author knows, and any other ideas your students might come up with. In literature circles a different member of the group each week can Twitter the author of the book as part of the "author analyzer" job. Learn more about Twitter and find many more ways to use it from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.

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Progressive Story Project - Karen Ditzler

Grades
K to 8
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This teacher created wiki invites you to participate in a collaborative writing project. Using a wiki, Voicethread, and a drawing program students will create a progressive story. The...more
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This teacher created wiki invites you to participate in a collaborative writing project. Using a wiki, Voicethread, and a drawing program students will create a progressive story. The project has multiple start dates.

tag(s): creative writing (170)

In the Classroom

This project is a wonderful addition to any English or language arts classroom. This is a great extension activity for older students to complete on their own. Younger students will benefit from the guided writing activities. The site is very well organized and the creator of the site provides you with everything you need. Be sure to check project dates so you don't miss registration. If you aren't familiar with Voicethread, see the TeachersFirst review here.
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Typing Games - TypingMaster, Inc.

Grades
2 to 5
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This typing practice website allows you to access 3 different typing interactivew. The site allows you to choose different levels: easy, medium, hard or a numeric keypad. Be aware:...more
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This typing practice website allows you to access 3 different typing interactivew. The site allows you to choose different levels: easy, medium, hard or a numeric keypad. Be aware: this site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): keyboarding (37), writing (366)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect activity for students to use to practice their typing skills. Put this site on your classroom webpage so students can practice at home. Place on classroom computers and have students use after they finish classwork or use as a center for small groups of students. Students will especially like that the games are similar to classic video games like Pacman and Tetris.
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Six Word Stories - Pete Berg

Grades
5 to 12
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by...more
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Six Word Stories challenges students to create a meaningful "narrative," book summary, reaction to a movie, or other literary reflection in just six words. Based on a famous one by Ernest Hemingway, the site collects the writings of amateurs and professionals. Readers can search it by theme or by genre or author (including famous ones). Links include places to try similar endeavors including 2-sentence stories and fifty-word stories. Please preview: at the time of this review, there was one inappropriate comment with a curse word.

tag(s): writing (366)

In the Classroom

Have a contest and challenge your students to submit the best 6-word story after finishing a novel, play, or poem. Try creating some together on interactive whiteboard, brainstorming first to generate possible words from which to choose, then dragging to rearrange them into a meaningful story. Make a six word story "sidebar" at the side of your class where students can work together with a partner on the IWB to generate new stories as summaries for an act of a Shakespeare play or in response to a sonnet. In a journalism class, try this for a twist on headline writing. Introduce poetry writing by having your students try their hand at expressing an emotional experience in just 6 words. ESL/ELL students often create unusual combinations in writing; why not have them display their creativity here in an acceptable form? Share this site with world language teachers also.
 
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Poetry Idea Engine - Scholastic

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

tag(s): poetry (224)

In the Classroom

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

Grades
2 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards,...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards, but you can also find ready-made flashcards for 100 Common SAT words, 501 Spanish or French Verbs, 100 words you should know, and Words to impress your friends. You can choose to hear the words pronounced correctly, too. Flashcard Stash also uses multiple choice and fill in the blank questions, and calculates the optimal time for review. Teachers get a free account that can create classes and share lists of flashcards with your students.

tag(s): flash cards (47)

In the Classroom

Joining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.

Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."

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Skype in the Classroom - Skype Limited

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms...more
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Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms and various projects with this great site. Use this free site to look through projects, tips from other teachers, and find other teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. Create a profile including your interests and the age, subject, languages, and more information about students. Use the "Project" link to list or find projects, classes, teachers, or speakers. Search the project link by speaker, project, age range of students, language, subject, and tags.

tag(s): colonial america (108), constitution (87), philadelphia (13), skype (13)

In the Classroom

To browse the activities, no special skills are required. If you plan to create your own activity, a Skype account is necessary. Use your Skype login to use this site. Be sure to check with school authorities before scheduling or using Skype with students. Be sure the Acceptable Use Policy covers the use of such tools. Spend time discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students prior to using Skype or participating in many of the projects found on this site.

Browse through the projects link to find ideas, tips from other teachers, and to find teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. You can search the project ideas by project, age range, language, subject, tags, and more. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom at this valuable website.

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Flubaroo - Flubaroo.com

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Use the Flubaroo add-on tool with Google docs for an easy way to create self grading documents and forms. Be sure to check out their 3 minute demo video and ...more
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Use the Flubaroo add-on tool with Google docs for an easy way to create self grading documents and forms. Be sure to check out their 3 minute demo video and overview links to understand how easy it is to use. Flubaroo provides easy to use step by step directions. Use this tool for multiple choice type answers for an easy way to receive feedback. Students easily see their responses to the questions when grades are emailed providing feedback.

tag(s): assessment (105), quiz (89), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

Users must be familiar with Google documents and forms. You must also have a Google account (FREE). Follow the demo and overview to become acquainted with this tool. This tool is best used by teachers for ongoing formative assessment. If allowing students to create formative assessments, be sure to create a separate class Google and Flubaroo account for use. Consider assigning groups to to make daily quizzes for the whole class to take as an ongoing formative assessment. Use for check point quizzes to check on terminology, general understanding, and to identify weaknesses in student understanding. Be sure to save this site in your favorites to use professionally to save time and keep your learning tasks organized.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

I would be curious to know how good you have to be with Google docs to be able to use this. Sounds like a summer project for me! Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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