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Natural Reader - Natural Soft Limited

Grades
1 to 12
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes ...more
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes written text from MS Word, emails, Internet Explorer, scanned books, or even images from a camera phone and turns it into spoken text. Just highlight the section you want read aloud, and your choice of voice will read it aloud. The voice choice and speed are adjustable. Turning written text into MP3 or WAV files is another option. Typing/pasting in the text box allows any text to be read aloud. A floating tool bar allows the downloadable software to be available all the time at on easy click. A free trial version is available for both Mac and Windows, with more deluxe versions available. Educational discounts and volume discounts do apply. This is the teacher's aid that needs to be in all classrooms. You must be able to install software to put this Reader on your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): learning disability (15), learning styles (20), text to speech (18), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Bring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Lyrics Gaps - lyricsgaps.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and...more
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and learn the new language. Each language has different activities: karaoke, interactive cloze activities, videos, and more. You can choose among three different difficulty levels. Some activities even have the option to "double click" to read a definition of a word. You also have the ability to submit your own songs and language activities to the site. Note that this site is fairly new and only ha a few hundred songs at the time of this review. Help contribute to the offerings!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110), french (90), german (65), greek (40), italian (34), japanese (43), portuguese (20), russian (28), songs (53), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful find for ESL/ELL and world language teachers. Teachers may prefer to do a class registration and use the offerings of the site with the entire class. Challenge your students to create (and submit) their own songs/activities in a new language. If school policy does not allow students to share songs on a site, have students create their own in-class presentations of songs and similar exercises using one selection from this site as a model.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Morguefile - Kevin and Michael Connors, Johannes Seemann

Grades
4 to 12
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed...more
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Use MorgueFile for free images for inspiration, reference, and use in creative works. These images are legal for use without concern about copyright. Photographs were 'freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site," though they do request that proper credit be given (see "about"). Enter your search term and refine your search to find images in various categories, size, color, and other options. Click on the image to go to its own page. Save on your computer by clicking Download. Inappropriate images can be reported on this page as well. Create a login to use an organizer to manage photos you have found. Be sure to check out the portfolio tab to view other photos as well as the Classroom tab. Use the Classroom tab to learn about cameras, lenses, and taking better photographs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (49), images (274), photography (161), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

Use this site in every subject area where images can convey concepts or students make projects. Find free images easily for use within the classroom. Use images for drag and drop activities on IWB, such as sorting vegetables from fruits, etc. In Art class, have students find images to demonstrate different design concepts such as rhythm, line, etc. Project an intriguing photo on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a writing prompt for a short story (or poem). Use images for practice writing in world languages, by having students describe the scene or tell a story about it. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Mapping the Nation's Well-Being - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive map shows the United States "Well-Being" according to a 2010 Gallup poll. You can search for happiness, stress, depression, health, health issues, work environment,...more
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This interactive map shows the United States "Well-Being" according to a 2010 Gallup poll. You can search for happiness, stress, depression, health, health issues, work environment, job satisfaction, diet etc. You can also make the map bigger to just display a certain area. (Simply click on the area that you wish to enlarge.)

tag(s): careers (136), dental health (23), map skills (81), maps (293), mental health (27), nutrition (159), stress (15)

In the Classroom

Use this map when studying map reading and graphs. Talk about what geographic, climate, or economic factors may influence "well being" in a certain location. Have students create a simple online posters comparing two areas using PicLits (reviewed here. Or use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two areas. Incorporate information from this map when doing state projects. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This site is very accessible for ESL/ELL and learning support students since there is little reading.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Compare & Contrast Map - Read, Write, Think - International Reading Association

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link...more
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link in the introduction to the "Comparison and Contrast Guide" gives students the chance to get definitions and look at examples before they begin working. The tool offers multiple ways to navigate information, including a graphic on the right to move around the map without having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed. There are many additional interactives and lesson plans (with standards included!).

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), concept mapping (21), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Knoword - Trevor Blades

Grades
5 to 12
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits ...more
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits the definition. The site allows you to pass if you do not know the word, but the definition of the word appears anyway (along with the answer). Once the correct word is entered, the definition changes quickly so you can accrue as many points as possible in a limited time. The site also keeps a list of words used at any interaction, so you can see the words correct and missed. Some definitions offer easier hints in their wording.

tag(s): game based learning (114), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (124), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Try this activity at the start of class on your interactive whiteboard or projector; it's perfect for vocabulary development with a lively twist! Offer this site to your students who are trying to assess and/or improve their vocabulary for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. ESL/ELL students may also enjoy the challenges and additions to their vocabulary. Share this site on your class webpage or blog for students to access (and practice) at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Highlights Kids Story Player - Highlights Magazine

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers several original stories from Highlights Magazine. The stories feature audio, text, and beautiful illustrations. There is a wide variety offered, and the stories...more
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This site offers several original stories from Highlights Magazine. The stories feature audio, text, and beautiful illustrations. There is a wide variety offered, and the stories include both prose and poetry. You can also print page by page. Elementary aged ESL students and emerging readers will benefit from the double presentation of the stories both in text and orally. At the time of this review, there were five audio stories. All current stories are related to recent holidays and weather. Check back frequently as story choices may change along with the seasons. Don't miss the "Poetry Player" under the "Read it" tab for more readaloud options, including a Martin Luther King poem in January.

tag(s): audio books (29), holidays (151), martin luther king (38), reading comprehension (119)

In the Classroom

Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Build oral reading expression with these examples, as well. Following this model, have your students select a favorite story or poem. After they make original pictures and/or graphics to go with the stories, have them record themselves reading the story page by page. Have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Another options, have groups create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share the Bookemon books or videos on your class website. (Be sure to get parent permission.) Share the Highlights site on your class webpage for families to read together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Write Comics - Write Comics

Grades
K to 12
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You can make your very own comic right now! At Write Comics, you will be able to create your own comics using the figures, backgrounds, animal, aliens, and dialogue bubbles, ...more
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You can make your very own comic right now! At Write Comics, you will be able to create your own comics using the figures, backgrounds, animal, aliens, and dialogue bubbles, supplied by Write Comics. This site is extremely easy to use. There is no need to sign up or register. Once you click Finish, you will be given a link. Go to your link and print your comic or upload it to your webpage.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69)

In the Classroom

Create a comic to put on your website. You might want to use Write Comics to display the vocabulary word of the day, the math puzzle of the week, a concept your students are learning in social studies or science. Have students create comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. For pre-reading students, create a comic of pictures and have students tell the story based on the pictures/scenes. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments. Have students share all of their comics on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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EL Civics for ESL students - EL Civics

Grades
3 to 8
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Find material about the U.S. national symbols, famous Americans, major landmarks, national symbols, and the basics of the US government organization and workings. Although this site...more
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Find material about the U.S. national symbols, famous Americans, major landmarks, national symbols, and the basics of the US government organization and workings. Although this site is geared towards ESL/ELL students, it could be useful in all classrooms. The site is not high tech. It consists mostly of simple written text. In addition to text, there are slide shows about government topics that include lesson plans, pictures and activities. There is also a link to videos on many of the topics. Links to other themed pages include U.S. holidays, important U.S. politicians, geography, and life/survival skills for ELL/ELL learners.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): branches of government (50), holidays (151), states (164)

In the Classroom

Have ESL/ELL students search for answers to previously prepared questions or do a scavenger hunt to find relevant information. Pair ESL/ELL students with a verbally strong English speaking partner so they can listen to the text being read. Use the links under U.S. Geography as an introduction for students doing state projects. Have students create posters from the info they gather here using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here. Or use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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Learning to Read English with Strivney - Deborah Delin

Grades
K to 2
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This site includes five levels of lessons to help students learn to read English (based on UK English, not American English.) Levels include Learning the Sounds, Sound Combinations,...more
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This site includes five levels of lessons to help students learn to read English (based on UK English, not American English.) Levels include Learning the Sounds, Sound Combinations, Capital Letters and Punctuation, The Alphabet, and Numbers. Materials include animated learning interactives, exercises and presentations focusing on learning letter sounds, the alphabet, writing with correct punctuation and capitalization, and using numbers. A picture dictionary and a word search feature allow students to add to their vocabulary. This site would be appropriate for non-readers, those with reading disabilities, ESL/ELL, and special education students.

tag(s): alphabet (89), capitalization (18), dictionaries (57), guided reading (45), phonics (71), punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have an entire class of non-readers, make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support (or ESL/ELL) students. Use the materials on this site for extra support for those learning to read.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sophia - Sophia Learning, LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Join a community of online learners, teachers, experts, and parents, which provides variety and creativity in teaching and learning. Different areas of focus include Applied Sciences,...more
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Join a community of online learners, teachers, experts, and parents, which provides variety and creativity in teaching and learning. Different areas of focus include Applied Sciences, English/literature, Humanities, Learning Strategies, Mathematics, Sciences, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. Within the subject matter, learning packets focusing on specific educational objects is presented through a number of medias including; audio, video, PowerPoints, or written text. Opportunity to ask the creator of the packet specific questions follows the information. Suggested grade levels are included. By getting a free account, you may contribute learning packets, questions, or rate a packet.

tag(s): anthropology (11), arabic (21), archeology (32), architecture (84), business (57), chinese (50), dance (28), design (83), environment (318), greek (40), literature (274), organizational skills (128), portuguese (20), probability (131), psychology (66), religions (68), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

Provide your students with reinforcement or challenge into the many different areas listed. Allow time for students to choose their area of interest to study. Create an account and contribute your teaching materials. Be sure to list this site on your class website as a resource. Encourage parents to visit this site to brush up on their skills. Challenge students to create your own learning packets based on your areas of study. Include your own personalized packets on your class blog. You can create a private group, so only your students may access your materials.
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Curriki - EnterpriseDB Postgre SQL company

Grades
K to 12
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Curriki is a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration of teachers and learners in a global community of 211 different countries. Find resources by grade level, subject area,...more
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Curriki is a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration of teachers and learners in a global community of 211 different countries. Find resources by grade level, subject area, or resource type (interactive, video, or podcast.) Usage type, or exercise, unit, lesson plan, or game, is another option for searching. Use the professional webinars for a better understanding of Curriki. Onsite training is another option listed. Join different groups for a more involved way to explore new areas in online learning, subject area interests, or focus questions. Be a peer reviewer offering comments or suggestions on submitted lessons, units, games, or exercises and give your input. Create collections of your resources to keep privately or share with others. Easily make lesson plans or web quests with the easy to use templates, which include graphic organizer and rubric options. Try a problem based learning unit. Join the challenge to create a video lesson for a chance at winning $5000. The focus of this site is to provide access to teachers, schools, students, or parents to many new creative ideas in a global community. Free membership includes monthly newsletters. Follow Curriki on Facebook, twitter, or blogs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), literacy (106), operations (123), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Curriki has a number of ways to benefit teachers and students. Use Curriki as a resource listed on your website for parents and students to have extra opportunities for additional practice or enrichment. Use as a way to organize your digital resources. The lesson plan and webquest templates are user friendly and promote best practices. While growing in your professional development by connecting with teachers worldwide, let your class learn with other classes worldwide. Curriki encourages you to think critically of your own lessons, but also lessons suggested.

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Slime Kids - slimekids.com

Grades
1 to 8
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Created by librarians and reading specialists this site offers links to book trailers (video-audio presentations of new and popular books), favorite author websites, and websites that...more
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Created by librarians and reading specialists this site offers links to book trailers (video-audio presentations of new and popular books), favorite author websites, and websites that review books interesting for students ages 6-13. You'll also find links to online references (fun and interactive encyclopedias, dictionaries, and atlases), safe student search engines, and educational games (including typing and grammar games).

Use the site map to find hundreds of book trailers listed by the publishing year and title, or grouped by grade level. This site is frequently updated, so check back often!

tag(s): authors (121), dictionaries (57), grammar (213), independent reading (129), keyboarding (37), search engines (64), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to demonstrate to students how to use the reference part of this site before starting individual or group projects.

Use the author portion of this site to have students look for new books to read, or to complete a project on author studies.

This site is excellent for enrichment. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Include it on your classroom computers for students to access in class. Ask students to use and review various parts of this site.
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Interactive Books - Mrs. Hacquet

Grades
2 to 12
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This site, created by a French-speaking professor, offers interactive "books" on grammar topics for English learners. Open the pages and find plenty of exercises on the selected topic,...more
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This site, created by a French-speaking professor, offers interactive "books" on grammar topics for English learners. Open the pages and find plenty of exercises on the selected topic, including grammar. Topics include the verb "to be," past tense, present continuous tense, using "can," using "must/mustn't," a variety of holidays, clothing, houses, daily routine, places in town, pronouns, etc. The only drawback is that the opening page that lists the topics is in French, but if you look at the menu on the left, all topics are in English. After finding a topic, you can see the "Table of Contents" for the book listing all the interactive exercises which include audio.

tag(s): french (90), grammar (213), grammar review (39), interactive stories (31)

In the Classroom

You may want to first share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so students understand how to navigate the site. It is worth searching this site to find the review exercises you would like your ESL/ELL students to brush up on. Include the site on a classroom computer list so the students can also work ahead and become familiar enough with it to use it at home. The exercises are good enough that native English speakers with trouble spots or special education students would also find it useful.
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Pitara Magazine - Pitara Kids Network

Grades
3 to 6
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Short stories, biographies, riddles, games and other appealing activities make this an attractive way to introduce students to magazine reading. With both academic and just-for-fun...more
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Short stories, biographies, riddles, games and other appealing activities make this an attractive way to introduce students to magazine reading. With both academic and just-for-fun features, the site fills the need students have after Highlights Magazine and other similar publications get too old. Students are using their reading skills as they try to solve riddles, tell jokes, and practice tongue-twisters.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (90), crafts (43), holidays (151), riddles (16), short stories (24)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind to recommend to parents for use during summer vacation. Be sure to list this link on your class website. Take a few moments in class to display the various parts to show the wide range of reading activities (and writing activities, using these articles as models) students can enjoy.

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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (64)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Research Project Calculator Classic - University of Minnesota Libraries

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Get rid of the last minute rush and make planning research projects easier with this online calculator and planner. Simply put in some basic information such as your name, class, ...more
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Get rid of the last minute rush and make planning research projects easier with this online calculator and planner. Simply put in some basic information such as your name, class, email, and type of project. Then the calculator maps out a time-lime for completing the project on time. You can choose from several types of projects such as essay, slide presentation, or video. The last step is putting in information including the starting and due dates. A step by step process is revealed with dates to finish each portion of the project beginning with questions to answer before beginning, gathering information, drawing conclusions, communicating information, and evaluation. Each of these portions contains links with further information and probes to keep the project moving along. This entire page can then be emailed to you for future use or the choice can be made to receive an email each step along the way.

tag(s): calculators (41), calendars (46), organizational skills (128), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to use as a planning guide for research projects. Create one timeline for the entire class to use as a planning benchmark or create timelines for each student. ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers may find this to be a useful tool to help students with planning and preparing for long-term projects. Provide this link for students to access both in and out of the classroom while planning projects.
 

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Stich - Stich.it

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive ...more
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive text found at the top of each slide and written by the user. Follow the helpful information along the side for using Stich.

tag(s): bookmarks (64)

In the Classroom

Use Stich.it for Internet scavenger hunts. Create a Stich with all the links needed to complete a project or for the entire unit. Students can create a Stich that showcases the websites that they used to complete an assignment or project. Use this with even the youngest students by sharing a Stich on your class website for students and parents to explore. Make a Stich of sites to learn to count, a stich for sites to learn the branches of government, a stich of sites to learn about tough biology concepts, a stich of sites to practice trigonometry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine!

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ClassMarker - ClassMarker Pty Ltd.

Grades
1 to 12
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Create your own tests to be taken online and graded instantly and accurately. With a free account, you can save 100 test results a month. ClassMarker allows you to add ...more
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Create your own tests to be taken online and graded instantly and accurately. With a free account, you can save 100 test results a month. ClassMarker allows you to add your own tests to be taken online and graded instantly. ClassMarker will randomize questions and answers, add time limits, and preset test availability dates. You can choose from multiple choice, short answer, essay & more question types.

Registration is not required. You can embed the tests on your own web page. This method is useful for practice tests since test results are only saved when students are registered and logged into ClassMarker. To register students, you create a group, add the student names (use a code for online safety), and create a password for the group. Or students can register themselves using a registration code you give them. You can then transfer users to multiple groups after they are registered if you wish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (100), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

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Huffduffer - Huffduffer.com

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter ...more
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Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter tags. Separate podcasts are created for the different tags that you use. Search the tags that are on Huffduffer to find specific audio files. Add the Huffduffer bookmarklet to Firefox or Chrome to instantly create a podcast from audio files you find online.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (55), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

When finding incredible audio files, be sure to huffduff them in order to share by specific tags. The most popular Huffduffer users are featured on the site, and many interesting podcasts can be found that way. Create podcasts of your own to host online and huffduff those to be tagged and listened to. Find podcasts to share with your students (or parents) on your website. Huffduff audio files from foreign language sites as a listening assignment in your world language class. Share the podcast url to assign the task. Have students create their own Huffduff podcasts of politician soundbytes, poetry readings, or music samplers.

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