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National Assn for Sports and Physical Education Teacher Toolbox - National Assn for Sports and Physical Education

Grades
K to 12
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Finding fun and varied activities to keep students moving isn't always easy. The Teacher Toolbox on this site is the perfect find for quick and easy daily activities. After finding...more
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Finding fun and varied activities to keep students moving isn't always easy. The Teacher Toolbox on this site is the perfect find for quick and easy daily activities. After finding the toolbox, click on the black bar near the top of the page with the link to calendars. Here is where you will find monthly calendars (in English and Spanish) and divided by age levels - Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary - with a quick and easy physical activity to accomplish for the day. Calendars are also archived back to 2009 so there are several options for each month.

tag(s): calendars (44), fitness (49)

In the Classroom

Plan with the Physical Education teacher to incorporate suggested activities into the curriculum. Use the calendars during math class when teaching calendar skills such as days of the week, elapsed time, and more. Have students graph how many activities they completed each month and challenge students to improve each month. Use on online graphing tool using a site like Statistic - Johnnie's Math Page reviewed here. Practice fractions by comparing activities completed to activities performed each month, compare different students' calendars and fractional representations. Share on your classroom webpage or blog with parents as examples of fun, simple activities to improve student's healthy and decrease obesity.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

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

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

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

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), writing (358)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

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GoGo News - Golnar Khosrowshahi

Grades
2 to 8
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
"Big news for little people," this website is targeted news for kids ages 7-14 and provides news from around the world in an entertaining format. Each day a new article ...more
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"Big news for little people," this website is targeted news for kids ages 7-14 and provides news from around the world in an entertaining format. Each day a new article is posted on the home page featuring current news. Vocabulary words are highlighted, and there is an icon to listen to the article. Be sure to check out all of the links such as "Planet" which features news about space, the solar system, and various locations around Earth. "Cool & Fun Stuff" featuring this day in history events, and "Joyful Jokes" featuring famous birthdays or jokes and riddles.

tag(s): literacy (103), news (261), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your board when discussing current events, use as a learning center for students to read and journal, or have students look up vocabulary words featured on the site. Practice with Main Idea or summarizing using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Provide this link for students to use at home to keep up with current events.

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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms - Karen Janowski

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design...more
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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design for Learning, is a concept promoting learning for all learners using assistive technology to promote motivated, strategic, flexible, lifelong learners. UDL reduces barriers and offers support and challenge for each individual learner. Create a free account to make your own wiki or to join in another wiki. Some available resources are free text-to-speech, graphic organizers, multimedia and digital storytelling, study skills tools, literacy tools, writing tools, collaborative tools, research tools, math tools, and tools that compensate for handwriting issues.

tag(s): differentiation (47), graphic organizers (43), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Refer to this site when you have a struggling learner who needs more support or the student who needs a challenge. Dig through these sites to use in your classroom. Go down the list and incorporate two a week. Many are also reviewed in more detail on TeachersFirst, so don't forget to search for our in-depth reviews to learn more. Ask your student technology crew to investigate and find their favorite from a list of three sites. Add to your class website as a reference. Use this site at Back to School Night to help parents jump into educational technology! Add more to the list! This only opens the doors to technology.

Comments

Deborah, LA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Preceden - Matt Mazur

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the...more
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the sequence of events in several different ways. You can input your own time increments such as by day, week, month, year, decade, etc. In addition, you can create your own labels for events. You need to create a FREE account to make a timeline. Timelines can be embedded on your blog or shared by url.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

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

tag(s): assessment (99), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

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

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MixedInk - MixedInk, LLC

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

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), six traits of writing (8), writing (358)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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Digital Play - Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley

Grades
2 to 12
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all...more
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all grouped together with the lesson plans. Many of the activities are in game format. To get an overall view of the lesson plans, go to the top menu bar, and click on "Quick Scan." Lesson plans are divided by ability levels, and target language skills to be learned are included in the brief description there.

Please preview before sharing specific portions of this site with students, as some are designed for older students and may include a more violent tone than you would want to use with elementary students. Content changes frequently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Lessons on Digital Play could be quickly adapted for use in any foreign language class. You can receive updates on new lessons added from many networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. These lessons could also be adapted to the primary classroom to help develop sentence fluency.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Skyrider for Kids - Research Information - Learning Media Limited

Grades
3 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
At Skyrider for Kids you will find short, high interest nonfiction articles on a variety of topics (suspension bridges, owls, the food chain, and more), plus some follow-up activities....more
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At Skyrider for Kids you will find short, high interest nonfiction articles on a variety of topics (suspension bridges, owls, the food chain, and more), plus some follow-up activities. Most articles have either an animated image, audio, or video for the students to use.

tag(s): interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

Here's the answer for "I'm done, what should I do now?" If you have one computer or more in your classroom, you can have the students choose a topic to read about, or you can choose for them. Some of the topics have follow up activities and some don't. It depends on whether you want the students to pursue a topic or just gain a little knowledge about it. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the nonfiction, interactive article about the Golden Gate suspension bridge. Break down all the interactive parts for them. Then challenge students or student groups to create their interactive poster on Glogster, demonstrating their assimilation of the information your class just studied. Whether your students are studying Roman architecture, cells in science, equations in math, or any other unit of study that can have changing features, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.

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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (21), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Five Frame - Illuminations

Grades
K to 2
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This activity begins building that foundation by working with 5's. Several different options are offered such as identifying the number of items in the 5 frame, identifying the number...more
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This activity begins building that foundation by working with 5's. Several different options are offered such as identifying the number of items in the 5 frame, identifying the number of items missing in the frame, building the given number, and adding items to fill the frame. Also available is a lesson plan for focusing on the number 2.

tag(s): counting (120), numbers (204)

In the Classroom

Introduce and demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explain to students the various activities offered, then create a link on classroom computers to be used as a center. Or use your interactive whiteboard as a center and allow students to manipulate the site themselves. Create a link on your classroom website or blog or post the link on your classroom newsletter for students to practice at home. Create your own 5 frames (using construction paper) for students to use individually and complete the activities as a class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition - Ambient Design

Grades
3 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art...more
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Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art materials. You and your students can paint with thinned oils, use wet or dry markers, soften the pencil and control the hardness of the crayon, and much more. Scroll down the page to find the FREE 2.6 Starter download instead of the 30 day free trial of ArtRage 3.0.

tag(s): graphic design (35), photography (160)

In the Classroom

ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition can be downloaded and installed on machines running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later. Check with your IT department or administrator for download and installation approval and help (if needed). ONly the need to download and install pushes this tool to the "Edge."

The ArtRage 2.6 interface is simple and intuitive, with large icons which clearly identify tools and options. While the program has a user guide and the website offers a quick start tutorial plus several technique-specific tutorials, fifteen minutes of clicking on icons, exploring the menus and playing with tools will give you a good start creating works of art. Teachers and students who are familiar with standard paint programs included in Windows and Mac machines will quickly grasp the basics and enjoy exploring the artistic possibilities of ArtRage 2.6. The program supports English, French or German language labels on tools and menus.

Be sure to ask student "experts" to demonstrate the ArtRAge tools on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use ArtRage 2.6 to create illustrations, drawings and paintings for storybooks, book reviews and author posters in English or language arts activities. Math and science concepts can be explained through illustrative drawings, such as a diagram of a flower's parts or the steps in oxidation. Make visual representations of mathematical operations or concepts such as fractions. Have ELL or foreign language students import images into ArtRage 2.6, trace and color them to create unique vocabulary cards and posters illustrating new words. Recognize and celebrate your students by importing their digital photos and applying textures and effects to create special birthday cards, awards, bulletin board pictures, and desktop signs. Share students' curriculum-related digital art projects on your class web page, blogs, or wiki (with parent permission) as well as your bulletin board. There are no safety concerns with this program because it is locally installed and does not involve interaction with the "general public" or social networking.

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Threaded Adventures - Kevin Hodgson

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can ...more
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A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can take and how to create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories online. This is perfect for those looking to integrate technology into their writing curriculum. Not only will you find directions to help you and your students create Threaded Adventures; the explanation of how to do this IS a Threaded Adventure, and you will find sample Threaded Adventures written by students. Threaded Adventures also inspire "predicting" as a reader, an essential reading strategy!

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Click on the links to read about how your students can create a Threaded Adventure. The author of the Threaded Adventure suggests the use of a wiki to have your students create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" because wikis are easy of use for the students. If you are unfamiliar with wikis, see TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Wikis can be private or public. Just be sure you have parent permission to publish student work online. If you use wikispaces, your students will not have to have an email account to join your wiki.

Have your students choose a favorite short story or picture book your class has already read. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to reread the story stopping and asking students what direction the story could take if the author hadn't finished the story, or suggest some "what ifs" yourself. Use Gliffy, an online graphic organizer reviewed here, to brainstorm with your class all the different paths the story could take. Once you and the class have decided on several different paths, go to your wiki and demonstrate how to create the "Threaded Adventure" using links to different pages. When your students understand the procedure, have small groups finish writing up the Threaded Adventure themselves. Once they've completed the class Threaded Adventure, they can use a story of their own to repeat the process.

For older students, you may want to go through the process above, and then have them put their story, or parts of their story, on MixedInk reviewed here to get ideas for story branches from their classmates. They could then use Gliffy reviewed here to organize the paths of their story. Once they've made final decisions about the different directions their story will take, they would then publish it on the wiki.

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Tell It Again - James A. Jukosky

Grades
K to 4
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning...more
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Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning radio show. The reel to reel tapes from the popular radio show are from this free website. Twelve popular folk tales including: Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, and the Tortoise and the Hare, have a MP3. Each selection includes stories with expressive characters, sound effects, and jingles. Future plans for this site include: children's musicians, authors, writers, and storytellers. Students will enjoy listening to favorite stories again and again in the classroom or at home on this free, user friendly-site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), writing (358)

In the Classroom

PreK-6 classrooms can use this site to enhance reading, listening, and historical perspectives on radio entertainment in individual, centers, or whole group setting. This site has been suggested for use with children with language delays, limited story backgrounds, Ell, ESL, or gifted children. Despite the website's limited stories available, it offers a great model for many inspired, creative lessons and projects with reading, writing, and listening. Ask students to add illustrations or create their own recordings of their own from stories. Inspire students with the musical jingles, challenging them to create their own jingle to accompany a favorite story of their own. Use these stories in writing class to model descriptive words, strong verbs, adjectives, sequencing, mind movies, and the elements of literature. Your podcasts will become alive and animated after hearing examples from this site. Build your own auditory story library with guest readers such as principals, teachers, older students, or family members. Students can add their own stories to create a classroom library of budding authors.

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KeepVid - keepvid.com

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on ...more
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Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on your computer. Find a video you want to save, then copy and paste the video's URL at KeepVid. The easiest way for your download to be successful to insert "keep" into the URL before the "YouTube." In our experience, this tool works without causing other problems. You may encounter warnings about applet security; we ignored these, but you may choose to do otherwise. If you decide to proceed, be sure to "allow" KeepVid access when your computer asks, and click "run" to begin the download. Select the quality you want to save the file to download (low, medium, or high quality FLV, MP3, or MP4 format.) Use KeepVid with a variety of video sites. If unable to view your file, either download a FLV viewer such as FLV Player (find a free one advertised on the site,) or convert your file into a more usable format. Drag the KeepVid button from their site into your browser's links toolbar. Find your video. When it starts to stream, click the KeepVid button in your toolbar. Choose the link to download and save.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (22), movies (64), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this service to backup videos on your YouTube channel. Use to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if they are blocked at school. Users must be able to find, copy, and paste the URL of the video to be downloaded. Once the program starts, you will be prompted to save it. If you want to use the video at school, you would save it to a USB stick.The MP4 format is fast, and it will play on an Apple or Windows computer. If you want to download in FLV format, you must also be able to play FLV files on the computer or be able to download an FLV viewer. No registration or login is required. This should primarily be a teacher resource. If using with students, discuss appropriate and inappropriate uses of the technology as well as choosing necessary videos. Be careful about videos found on the KeepVid site. These may not be family or student appropriate.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (32), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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BookRix - Gunner Siewert

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
BookRix is a very cool program for readers and writers! You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your ...more
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BookRix is a very cool program for readers and writers! You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your students are aspiring authors, you can register and publish your writing here, again for free.

tag(s): audio books (32), creative writing (166), writing (358)

In the Classroom

There are several ways you can use this site. For young readers and writers: Select a story from the children's book area. Use your whiteboard or projector and select a story to read with your students. Then as a class, have the students change the ending of the story, or write a sequel. You can then publish this class book on BookRix. Older students can publish their poems, short stories, current event articles, persuasive writing for an issue they are into... for free. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at BookRix they will be able to publish them. Don't miss the great collection of audio books at TeachersFirst, found here.

Books are tagged, so you can search by keywords. You can also go to the "Books" tab and search by "Popular Categories." Click on the "See all" to find the "Children's Books" category. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, then you will need to know how to navigate the site. You have three choices for the book format: text only, illustrated book, and audio book.

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Read the Words - Educational Utilities

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered ...more
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. Students can select the speed at which the text will be read. You can use a wide variety of formats including Microsoft Word, PDF, a website URL, anything copied and pasted, or from RSS feeds. Likewise, students can listen to the oral text online, download it to the desktop or MP3 players, post readings online in several forms, and even create podcasts with the selected material. Users can even modify the reading avatar's appearance by selecting from those available, both male and female.

Beware: if you are having students use this site, "inappropriate" words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced. So be sure students are aware of guidelines and consequences.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Primary or special ed reading teachers may want to use this site for students to practice reading fluency "side by side" with the online avatar. World language teachers and teachers of limited English speakers will love this website as reinforcement for language learning. Students can listen as they read. They can also practice their pronunciation and compare it with any selected avatar. Use the oral readings on an interactive whiteboard or projector (with speakers turned up) for class dictations and discussion starters. Preview the vocabulary words in any file or website by selecting the read/edit option before students listen to it. Check school policies regarding individual student accounts on web sites. Here are some tips on managing student memberships that require email.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ThumbScribes

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to ...more
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to choose, and you can be public or private. When using ThumbScribes privately, you will invite your students via email to join in the writing. Scribes are collaborative works, created and passed between ThumbScribes' authors, where each adds a new section to the story, poem, novella, etc.

tag(s): poetry (227), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to collaboratively write a story, poem, or novella using Thumbscribes. Use ThumbScribes in conjunction with Story Writing Tips for Kids (reviewed here), to have students write create a story together. Write a story or poem about a topic being taught in science, a current event, math concept, biography of a hero, or nearly any other subject area. Create a class book at the beginning of the school year to collaboratively share what your students did during the summer months.

Through the "Sneak Peak" you can read any public poem, story, etc. In order to write or "co+create" you will need a screen name and e-mail. Once you've signed up, you can start by creating a new scribe. All you need to do is click on the "Start Writing" button at the top of the page.

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