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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (83), china (66), circuits (20), civil rights (117), computers (94), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (35), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (227), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (92), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Common Sense for Common Core - Scholastic Inc

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

tag(s): assessment (99), commoncore (92), questioning (31), test prep (96), writing (358)

In the Classroom

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

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Cubing and Think Dots Strategy - Eulouise Williams

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

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), differentiation (47), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

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

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Been Here So Long - Slave Narratives - New Deal Network

Grades
8 to 12
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal ...more
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal era in America, are remarkable and are accompanied by teaching resources, photos, and suggested projects.

tag(s): 1930s (15), african american (113), black history (59), narrative (24), new deal (6), primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

There are lessons and projects for the narratives, many of which take four or more class periods. Try something that won't eat up so much time: Choose one of the narratives and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share it with your class. Then, as suggested in the lesson plans, have "a discussion about the strengths and limitations of using the ex-slave narratives and other oral histories as primary sources in the study of history." Have students break into small groups and have each group read two of the narratives. Have them make comparisons of those two narratives and the one shared with the entire class, using an online tool such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Then have the class share out and find commonalities for all the narratives (other than they were all slaves). Use this site in an American History class studying the New Deal and the 1930s or in any language arts or social studies class during Black History Month. These narratives are about the "regular" people, not the famous people usually read about.

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WikiWand - Lior Grossman & Ilan Lewin

Grades
5 to 12
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy ...more
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy to use table of contents to the side of the screen, easier to read typography and a handy preview-on-hover feature. Personalize your screen by changing fonts and size of fonts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Install WikiWand on classroom computers to improve student viewing of Wikipedia. Share on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate and view features for student use. If you do recommend Wikipedia as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource. As a challenge to your better writers, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics in simpler English. They will have to analyze their own language and writing style with far greater scrutiny than ever before. Or have the class create a two version wiki glossary of your own on curriculum topics in any discipline, using this as a model for the "easy reading" side.

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Exposure - Luke Beard and Kyle Bragger

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos ...more
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos to tell your story. Follow prompts to add photo groups, full-width pictures, or embed Vimeo or YouTube videos into your narrative. Publish and share your story using the URL or with social networking links; embed into any website or blog using the provided embed code. Free accounts allow users to create up to three Exposure narratives.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Have students create an Exposure account to share poetry, writing projects, or as a student portfolio. Challenge groups of students to create photo stories featuring information about landforms, states, or demonstrating steps of a science experiment. Please remember, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations. Use Exposure to share field trips and class activities with parents.

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Classmill - Tariq Rauf

Grades
6 to 12
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online....more
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online. When creating a class choose from privacy options such as invite only for attendees. Add content within modules for each class using tabs to upload or embed information. Once your content is complete, use the "Ready" toggle switch to make it accessible to users. Use the "Invite" button to invite users using their email address.

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Random.org - Dr. Mads Haahr

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the ...more
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Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the links for random lists, coin flippers, dates, passwords, dice rolls, and much more. Follow directions on each page to set the form and receive results. There is also an app for both Android and iOs devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), probability (130), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use Random.org to generate any kind of list you need such as groups for field trips, random dates for history research, and random places on a map. Use the name generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Use the generator tools as part of your probability unit to chart how often names or coins appear with random selections.

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tozzl - Lars Natus

Grades
6 to 12
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a ...more
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a new tozzl" to begin and follow the prompts. Once your tozzl is created, use links to edit and add information, add new members, and share. Best of all, tozzl doesn't require registration!

tag(s): brainstorming (23), chat (51), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use tozzl to create public or private, password-protected message boards. Use as a backchannel tool for discussions during lessons. Share with students to create their own message boards when working on group projects. Use tozzl as a message board for each of your classes. Include class notes, handouts, links to videos, and more.

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Be an Editor Game - The Poynter Institute

Grades
6 to 12
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Understand the basics of newspaper editing with this self-directed interactive. Decide what stories end up on the front page from stories given to you by your four top editors. Enroll...more
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Understand the basics of newspaper editing with this self-directed interactive. Decide what stories end up on the front page from stories given to you by your four top editors. Enroll in the course to begin (enrollment is free). The time of play is approximately 15 minutes. You must create an account to enroll using your email and other information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (60), journalism (46), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this game on a projector or interactive whiteboard to teach the editorial process and critical thinking skills. Because creating an account requires an email address and your physical address, create an account using school information to use as a class. This site would be perfect for use as an introduction to editing with your school newspaper staff.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Photos for Class - Clever Prototypes, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Here is an excellent site for finding images for non-commercial use that will have the proper citation downloaded with it. Find a photo you want to use. Click the download ...more
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Here is an excellent site for finding images for non-commercial use that will have the proper citation downloaded with it. Find a photo you want to use. Click the download link under the picture. The downloaded image will have the appropriate attribution information with it. Note: right clicking on the photo will not produce the attribution information. Our editors found all photos to be "class appropriate." However, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Have students use this site for Creative Common images for any report, newsletter, or project. The images from this site are all supposed to be G-Rated for classroom use. The search engine uses Flickr safe search, and other built-in filtering so all images produced should be appropriate for school use. Have students create an annotated image or build a story including text boxes and related links using images found on this tool and a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Be sure to keep a link to this site on your wiki, blog, or web page for students to use whenever they are working on a project.

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Gods and Mythology of the Vikings - History.com and Column Five

Grades
6 to 12
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This impressive infographic shows information about Viking or Nordic Mythology. Find short explanations for Yggdrasil, Asgard, Vallaha, Odin, Thor, Freyr, Frigg, Loki, Midgard, Valkyries,...more
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This impressive infographic shows information about Viking or Nordic Mythology. Find short explanations for Yggdrasil, Asgard, Vallaha, Odin, Thor, Freyr, Frigg, Loki, Midgard, Valkyries, and Hel. Click on the infographic to make it smaller or larger.

tag(s): myths and legends (25), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use this infographic in conjunction with a study of Viking Mythology. Divide the students into small groups to investigate the different terms mentioned on the infographic. Have the students present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. You might consider having students use Nordic Gods, reviewed here, to gather some basic information about the gods, Asgaard, etc.

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mySkillBoard - Rob Steller and Josiah Hills

Grades
K to 12
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards....more
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards. Quickly input each score and view data through several different visualization options. This site is optimized for use on any device allowing you to input and track student performance at any time.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196), differentiation (47)

In the Classroom

MySkillBoard requires a bit of a learning curve due to a lack of tutorials on using the program. However, it may be useful for differentiating student instruction in any classroom. Add each class or group of students to document. Follow learning goals and mastery of standards. Use mySkillBoard together with other teachers to monitor and document student progress in all learning areas.

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Goodbits - Charles Bergeron, Kalvir Sandhu, Philippe Creux and Godfrey Cha

Grades
K to 12
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Finally! A tool to create a professional looking email newsletter in minutes! Goodbits has simplified the task of designing a newsletter by having sections and changing the layout easily....more
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Finally! A tool to create a professional looking email newsletter in minutes! Goodbits has simplified the task of designing a newsletter by having sections and changing the layout easily. You can also crop images where necessary. Just find and collect your content, plug it into Goodbits, and they will make it beautiful. You can read the newsletter on most browsers and mobile devices. You can add links via mobile devices; however, they recommend creating and sending newsletters on a computer. Goodbits uses Mail Chimp, reviewed here, but plans on using other email programs in the future. The sign up is quick, just your name and email, and you are set to go.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44)

In the Classroom

Consider using Goodbits to create a daily newsletter about what students learned in class, and then present it as a recap at the beginning of the next day. Be sure to add images and charts where possible for visual students. Eventually, students could do this on their own at the end of the class. A newsletter would build an excellent learning journal and could be used to study for a test, or as a source for writing a final essay. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. In science and math classes, students can design a newsletter about a famous scientist or mathematician. In science class, students can develop a newsletter to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Do an author study with the end project being a newsletter. For literature circle end projects have the group create a newsletter about the plot and characters. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. With the Goodbits newsletter tool, it will almost seem effortless to send home a weekly or monthly newsletter to parents with ongoing news of class activities, announcements, schedules, and more.

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Ghost Stories of North Carolina - UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Grades
8 to 12
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Step into a spooky place where ghosts and ghouls of North Carolina abound. Listen, watch, and create an ending for a ghost story. Find links to other resources for North ...more
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Step into a spooky place where ghosts and ghouls of North Carolina abound. Listen, watch, and create an ending for a ghost story. Find links to other resources for North Carolina, ghost stories, and tale tellers.

tag(s): folktales (65), halloween (40), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, capture students' attention with the unexplainable, the odd, the spooky! During your folktales unit, look at ways North Carolina has extended local tales and made them into literature. Examine the performances, and find ways that they are successful and what would you do to make it better! Study the art of storytelling and create your own performances. Use as an example to create tales for your community or school. Be sure to discuss what is appropriate and how to convey mood and suspense! Have students make multimedia presentations of their own tales. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here.

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Success Certificates - 2012 Certificate Web Design by Us

Grades
1 to 12
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Here is the solution to all your certificate needs. Find free printable certificates for school, sports, family, or fun. Change color schemes or formats, select and add your text, and...more
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Here is the solution to all your certificate needs. Find free printable certificates for school, sports, family, or fun. Change color schemes or formats, select and add your text, and be ready in seconds. Print or download to save.
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tag(s): worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Make your students' day by recognizing their hard work and efforts! Use this tool to recognize students in seconds in a fun, free way. Ideas for student use include having students choose characters from a book and create a certificate for them. Next have students elaborate and describe the reasons why this certificate is awarded. During Thanksgiving, let students become more aware of all the people that help them and nurture them. Use with younger buddies to give them the idea of thankfulness and appreciation. During a study of communities, have students choose a community worker and send a certificate of thanks. For older students help them set the sites high, and create the certificate they want to receive in the future. What goals do they need to set to achieve this?
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PhotoCat - photocat.com

Grades
K to 12
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PhotoCat is a free online photo editing service. Edit and retouch images easily. Make photo collages in just a few simple steps. Upload any image from your computer. If the ...more
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PhotoCat is a free online photo editing service. Edit and retouch images easily. Make photo collages in just a few simple steps. Upload any image from your computer. If the image is too large PhotoCat will ask to reduce it automatically. Choose from the many options such as special effects, retouching tools, frames, text, and more. Once completed save your image to your computer or share using social networking links.

tag(s): editing (60), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or in presentation tools (reviewed here). In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use this tool in photography or art classes. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use text options for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more.

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Analyze My Writing - analyzemywriting.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Copy and paste any text into Analyze My Writing to receive a very detailed look at the contents. Find out word, sentence, and character counts. Learn the number of quotes, ...more
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Copy and paste any text into Analyze My Writing to receive a very detailed look at the contents. Find out word, sentence, and character counts. Learn the number of quotes, commas, and more. Scroll down further to view graphs on word and sentence length. Learn the readability score of your text using several different indexes. Another chart displays the 50 most commonly used words and word pairs. Download the included word cloud (jpeg) to see the most common words by size and color.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (55), six traits of writing (8), word clouds (10), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

Share this excellent tool with your students for use with any writing project. Discuss ways to elevate the level of any writing piece by analyzing results found. Challenge students to increase the difficulty of readability or add interest to writing by using less common words. Be sure to include a link on your class webpage and have students print out a copy of the writing analysis to include with writing projects. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

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Clearly - Evernote

Grades
6 to 12
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Clearly is a browser extension that works with Evernote reviewed here to clean up web pages for easier reading. Remove items such as advertisements,...more
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Clearly is a browser extension that works with Evernote reviewed here to clean up web pages for easier reading. Remove items such as advertisements, navigation bars, and other distractions with a single click. Use Clearly to clip and add items to your Evernote account for later viewing wherever you have Evernote installed. Currently Clearly works with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers.
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tag(s): classroom management (134), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this helpful extension in any classroom setting where you use Evernote. Many students will benefit from viewing cleaner pages without so many distractions. Help your less-focused students stay with your lessons!

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StoryMap JS - Northwest University Knight Lab

Grades
7 to 12
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this ...more
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this tool syncs to Google Drive editor to create a storymap. The created storymap is a sequence of slides for a map location or image that includes a heading, text, and even images and embedded video. The map or image and included information appear side by side. You can click between the slides connecting one location to another (or portions of an image to another). Your story is now interactive! To use: Follow the prompts to connect your Google Drive to the tool. Choose the type of story to create, Map or Gigapixel (image). Don't worry about the map image showing on the first page. When building a map, the front page will include the portion of the World Map based on map points throughout the project (ex. USA or Europe). Add a headline and detail to the appropriate areas. Include links and change font to bold and italic if desired. Add images to any page by uploading from your computer (through Google Drive) or by entering a link to an image. Enter the URL of the Vimeo or YouTube video you wish to use. Need help? Click on the Gigapixel tab along the top for help in uploading images and videos. The Media box not only has an area for the URL, but also an area to enter a caption and credit for the image. Add additional pages by clicking "Add Slide" in the left-hand menu. Add points to your map, one per slide, by typing the building, street, city, and country. Use the zoom bar in the top left to find the location. Customize the map style, background color, and font using the Options buttons. Click Share to send through social media or to use an embed code. The embed code can be used in any site, adjusting its width for different sites. If using Gigapixel, use a large image (as the image will literally be the "map" and your points move around the image). Save your image to Google Drive and copy the URL of the image as you will need it in the first step.

tag(s): maps (288), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Be sure to stress Fair Use and Copyright with students when using online images and crediting sources. Find great resources and information on TeachersFirst. Of course, if possible use your own images. In Science, use this tool to upload a picture of a science experiment from class and retell the story of the "experiment" by connecting with each of the individual parts of the image. In a Technology class, use this tool to create a project of anything that could be considered "mappable." Some examples include a timeline tour of an event, tour routes of a favorite band, the movement of a character in a movie or novel, or various events in a War. Find various shapes in nature and buildings for a Geometry class, showing their locations in a map. This tool would be wonderful for gifted students to showcase an interest or extend learning from a concept learned in class. Use this tool to trace the history of various recipes or ingredients in a Family and Consumer Science class. Trace the history of people, religions, and events. In Science, create a tour of various animals found in specific areas of a given biome or locations of various types of rocks and their information around the world.

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