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Documentary Wire - DocumentaryWire

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and...more
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and follow Documentary Wire on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No membership is required to watch the videos or receive their newsletter with the latest documentaries. Videos are actually hosted on YouTube and other video sharing services. If your district blocks YouTube, then they 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. Enjoy blogging with others by being a member, individually or within a group to discuss your latest ideas on a documentary. Be aware: some of the content on this site may not be appropriate for all ages. Always remember to preview!

tag(s): primary sources (86), video (254)

In the Classroom

Documentary Wire provides documentaries for all your classes. Not sure what topics are available? Search the documentary list. Use a documentary to help students understand primary (such as interviews) and secondary sources. Consider examining point of view through many different choices of films. Study industry and government regulations. Research to discover if any documentary caused a change in the law. Look at the persuasive techniques used to convey a strong message. Study the formatting of the documentary to use as a framework for your own student research projects. Look at documentaries in your study of ethics. Challenge gifted learners in the search for new information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Famous Inboxes - Mark Brownlow

Grades
6 to 12
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history....more
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history. Choose from artists, musicians, great leaders, authors, and many more categories. Each inbox contains a screenshot of the person's email (mythical) inbox including the subject of the email and the sender. This is an entertaining and provocative site sure to inspire lots of ideas for your own use! Be sure to preview before you share as some of the topics (or "texting" language) may not be appropriate for the classroom.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), gamification (65), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Share Famous Inboxes with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector using a character or author studied in class. Assign students to each of the inbox titles and have them write the actual email sent. Don't see anyone to use in class? Create your own or have students use the site as a model to create their own. Most likely, working in groups will get the creative juices flowing. This would be a great model to use for introducing a history or science unit or for looking at the relationships between characters in literature. Have students write the emails as an end of unit review. Subscribe to the RSS feed of this site to receive updated contents. Use the option to create an inbox as a differentiated challenge for your gifted students. For example: Summarize World War II by showing Winston Churchill's inbox, then write two of the key emails. As a "hook" for new books in the media center, have students create inboxes for one of the characters and post them with the book jackets. Instead of a "report" on a scientist, have students create their inbox documenting their research and accomplishments.

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Boundless - Ariel Diaz

Grades
9 to 12
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It...more
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It includes 18 college level subjects from Accounting through Writing. Choose any subject to begin. Create a free account enabling access to a search engine and additional study tools.

tag(s): art history (70), business (58), ebooks (42), microorganisms (14), politics (99), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward college textbooks, Boundless is an excellent resource for many high school classrooms. Choose sections of books to use as lessons on your interactive whiteboard or assign for students to read on their own. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) demonstrating concepts learned. Use flashcards and quizzes embedded in Boundless books to review concepts. Boundless is an excellent resource for gifted or AP students. Use as a source for enrichment of your current curriculum.

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Presentain - Neek Kurat

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so...more
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so presentation participants can view your connections. Access your Google Drive presentations in Presentain or upload a PDF version of a presentation created in PowerPoint or Keynote. Store your presentations in the Presentain cloud. Download the iOS or Android app on your phone or tablet to connect your mobile device. Use your mobile device as a clicker and connect your audience on their mobile devices. The audience can ask questions, take part in polls, send you follow-up requests, share your slides, and more. Record your voice while you present and publish the slidecast to your online audience. Presenting on a laptop that's not yours? Enter a presentation code that doesn't require a login. This is a great tool to involve your audience. Presentain users must be at least 18 years old.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations and upload them as a PDF to Presentain. Use the many tools available at the site to engage your students. Use the question feature as a backchannel to address questions and concerns. Collect data using polls to differentiate your instruction. A BYOD school? Connect your students on their mobile devices. Share your slidecasts for student access both in and outside of class for further practice. An excellent site to share your presentations on professional development with your teaching colleagues. A great tool to flip your classroom instruction. Record students' presentations (using your account) to share on a website or blog so families unable to attend can view. Create visual presentations for key concepts or vocabulary. Record descriptions and share the slidecast for student access both in and outside of class for further practice.

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Inspirational Quotes for Teachers - Windows to the Universe

Grades
2 to 12
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Inspire yourself and your students with Windows to the Universe Motivational Quotes. Although a rather simple site in appearance, there is a lot of "good stuff" here. Add creativity,...more
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Inspire yourself and your students with Windows to the Universe Motivational Quotes. Although a rather simple site in appearance, there is a lot of "good stuff" here. Add creativity, encouragement, and an atmosphere of excellence to your classroom and your life.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Post in the signature on your email, on your website, or even on your whiteboard! Encourage leadership, hope, and inspiration! Use quotes as a theme for writing prompts or even to relate to the theme of a story. Use the quotes as examples of figurative language. Add quotes to end of year picture CDs/DVDs. Use the quotes to inspire personal or classroom mission statements. Have students include a quote when turning in work, and explain how it inspired or helped them. Add music or art to explain a quote. During the first week of the school year, share this site with students. Challenge students to choose a "quote of the year" for themselves personally. Have students put the quote in their notebook, folder, or as a screen saver. Also, choose a few quotes to hang around your classroom. If you need more quotes, check out TeachersFirst's Bulletin Board Hangups.

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OK2Ask''®: Blooms 2.0 July 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom's Taxonomy through Technology Create...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom's Taxonomy through Technology Create a classroom rich with all levels of Blooms Taxonomy using new and HOT technology. This session will have a brief introduction to Blooms Taxonomy, but the main focus will be sharing tools to achieve Blooms levels using the newer tools.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Recap the basics of Blooms Taxonomy; Discuss and share the importance of keeping Blooms in the classroom; Browse and explore various tools available on TeachersFirst to use at all levels of Blooms Taxonomy; and (Follow-up) Plan and implement a lesson or activity using a web tool that promotes one of the higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1a and c, 2b, 4b, and 5c * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

In the Classroom

View this webinar to learn about the new HOTS Blooms 2.0. Find resources to use to meet all levels on Bloom's Taxonomy. View this webinar with a friend or group of teachers in your computer lab. Take a look at the resource page for some great sites to learn more about Blooms 2.0 and resources to use in your class! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask'®: Gifted Resources Galore July 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Gifted Resources Galore: Tips and Tools for Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Gifted Resources Galore: Tips and Tools for Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted Students Learn new ways to meet the needs of your gifted students. Participants will view and explore tools that offer enrichment, advancement, and differentiation as well as sites to promote organizational skills, focus, and more. There will be a question/answer period to meet individual challenges. Use exploration time to discover and discuss TeachersFirst resources well-suited to use with gifted students.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring 6-10 specialized resources on TeachersFirst; Explore and practice with selected resources; Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants; List and discuss other curriculum related projects or activities that could be done using the resources in the teacher's own teaching situation; Have individual questions/concerned addressed by both our experienced Gifted/Talented specialists and other participants; and (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

tag(s): differentiation (47), gifted (96)

In the Classroom

Looking for new ways to challenge your gifted students? Look no further than this webinar! If you are a gifted/talented specialist working with regular education teachers with gifted students mainstreamed into their classrooms, be sure to share this webinar (or at least he resource page). Take a look at the resource page full of gifted resources galore! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Secret Door - Safe Style UK

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. ...more
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Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. Click on the door again (or click "take me somewhere else") to be transported to another place. Visit famous landmarks, museums, and more. What a treat! The entire Secret Door interaction can be embedded in your blog or wiki using the embed code provided by clicking "embed this." Secret Door is random, so going to the same place again could be tricky. To return later to the same location, make a note of the location in top left (or copy it). Use Google Maps (reviewed here), search for the location that was named in the top left corner, and use Streetview (drag the little orange man on top of the landmark to look inside).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), landmarks (26)

In the Classroom

Teacher-librarians can use this to inspire research or non-fiction reading by embedding it in their website or displaying it on a computer in the media center! Use this site to learn drawing inferences about each of the places visited. Use the images as a class or in groups to determine where in the world it is located using clues from the picture. You will want to "hide" the location that shows in the top left corner. This is a great introduction into culture, building, design, etc. Project an image on an Interactive Whiteboard as a prompt for a short story, poem, or essay inspired by the image. Share an image as your students enter the classroom as the daily "travel mystery." Give your students 2-3 minutes of time to investigate WHERE the image is from. Brainstorm how the image is related to a story being discussed in class, a unit of study, or parallels to our culture. What creatures and cultures would be seen in this place? Ask and answer interesting questions related to the images. Teachers of gifted can use these images to inspire creation of text-based games to take place in these settings using descriptive writing and a tool such as Quest, reviewed here, or Playfic, reviewed here.

Comments

Very cool, easy to use site for when you have a few minutes. I think the age range could be k-12 as my 4 year old loved seeing where the door would take us. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it is really hard to get back to a place that you previously visited. Diane, PA, Grades: 0 - 4

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The Music in Poetry - Smithsonian

Grades
4 to 12
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The lessons at this site focus on two poetic forms: the ballad stanza and the blues stanzas, and their rhythm. Both of these forms began as song. A sound track ...more
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The lessons at this site focus on two poetic forms: the ballad stanza and the blues stanzas, and their rhythm. Both of these forms began as song. A sound track is included. The sound track has a separate URL from the lessons and is suggested several times in the plans. As with all educational resources at the Smithsonian, the sixteen page lesson plan (unit) is thorough. It includes suggestions for playing music from the Smithsonian's Folkway recordings, an explanation of the metrical unit, iamb, with some humorous examples on the Bestiary of Poetic Terms page, nonfiction reading about the ballad and the blues forms of poetry, and too many others to list here. Through all this, you can review the form of "The Cat in the Hat," and meet Langston Hughes, Bob Dylan, U2, Willie Nelson, William Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson and many other famous poets and song writers.

tag(s): blues (21), dance (28), differentiation (47), gifted (96), poetry (228), rhymes (33), rhythm (20), writing (359)

In the Classroom

There is a ton of information and activities in this lesson plan. This lesson plan is more like a unit plan, so choose to complete the entire unit or pick and choose certain lessons to familiarize your students with the ballad and the blues. You could choose just to do one or the other. Differentiate the activities for your gifted students. The lessons also include suggestions for movement activities and having students create their own poems. Student poems can be displayed creatively by using a poster program like Tackk, reviewed here, and the URLs can be posted on your teacher website in order for parents to see.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pursued - Street View Game - Nemesys Games

Grades
6 to 12
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Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each ...more
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Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each correct guess moves you to a new level. Once you reach the "top," you can unlock additional levels by liking the game on Facebook. Additional packages include European Capitals, US State Capitals, and others. Submit your own game as an advanced user using prompts and tutorials provided. As the name states, this activity involves helping a cartoon character who is being pursued. Although it is a cartoon, the opening scene shows the cartoon character being put into what appears to be a trunk. The activity is extremely engaging, but be certain that students are mature enough to handle the content!

tag(s): capitals (24), cities (25), continents (49), countries (76), cross cultural understanding (115), map skills (79), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use this as a fabulous geography and problem-solving activity. Play different levels together as a class or in small groups on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own. In a science class, you could use this game to teach observation and hypothesis testing. (What do you observe? What city might this be?) Social studies or world language classes can explore the signs of different languages or other cultural observations. Challenge students to create their own game including geographic locations within your state, hometowns of famous writers, or any other activity using a map. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map with audio stories and pictures included! This is perfect for gifted students who want an open-ended challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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750 Words - Buster Benson

Grades
4 to 12
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a ...more
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a "keep private" button, and if you forget to click it who knows who will be reading your most private thoughts. This program is based on the idea that getting your thoughts on (digital) paper every morning can clear your head, focus your ideas, and organize and energize you for the rest of the day. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, and its hand-written "Morning Pages" exercise, the creator of this program converted that exercise to our 21st century tools. If you care about such things, there is also a point system where one can compare constancy of writing and words written with others.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), gamification (65), journals (21), process writing (42), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

To write daily is a good idea for students. It helps them clarify their thoughts and questions, and get in touch with their feelings. 750 Words would be perfect for any writing program or with gifted students who often feel very strongly about fairness and/or world issues well beyond their years. Students can get their thoughts and ideas written down without having to worry about a grade or someone chancing upon their writings in a school notebook. Here's an idea for any grade level. Have your students do free writes (stream of conscientiousness writing) starting with 5 minutes or more a day. Ask students to count their words daily when time is up, always trying to increase the word count. After a couple of weeks have them use 750 Words and complete the stream of writing on a computer or mobile device. (This shouldn't slow many of them down since most are quick at texting!). After the first day, and again after the second week, using 750 Words have a class discussion about which format they like better and why. Use a backchannel program like Meetings.io reviewed here, or Today's Meet, reviewed here, for the class discussion. Using one of these programs ensures that even your shy students have a chance to say what they think about 750 Words. Challenge your students to complete the 750 words at home. They can earn points, and you know how competition can inspire some of them! Resource students and ESL/ELL students could increase their writing skills and fluency by keeping an online, private journal daily with 750 Words. Emotional support, autistic support, or alternative ed students may find this private space to work out feelings very therapeutic.

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wireWax - interactive video tool - wireWax.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Use wireWax to add interactive elements to online or uploaded videos. Each "tag" links to another video or image url you supply. However, the unique feature of wireWax is that ...more
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Use wireWax to add interactive elements to online or uploaded videos. Each "tag" links to another video or image url you supply. However, the unique feature of wireWax is that you view links from within the original video, not to a location outside of the original. View the samples of consumer videos from clothing companies to get the idea. Create a log in using email or Facebook to begin. Drag a video from your computer or insert a YouTube or other online video url. After your video processes (may take 15-30 minutes to upload and process), start adding tags as desired. Advance video to the desired spot. Create a box around the area to tag, and choose a name, image, or video url to use for your tag. Choose colors for boxes around tags to identify like items. When done, choose from sharing options of public or private video. Share completed videos using the embed code provided or with the unique url provided. Since this site uses YouTube videos, if your school blocks YouTube, you may not be able to create projects using YouTube videos at school, depending on how your web filter works. You can use videos hosted at Vimeo and other video sharing sites, as long as they offer urls for video sharing. This tool does require some experimentation to figure out. There is limited "help."

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

wireWax is a great tool for adding new layers of information to educational videos such as those found at YouTube EDU, reviewed here. Create videos for your students or have older students create videos to share with others. "Tag" key points at which students might have questions. At those points insert tags that reveal clarifying information from another video, a web page, an image, or an audio recording. If using student-created videos or having students create the wireWax video, check your school policy about sharing student work on the Internet. If using with students, be sure to discuss appropriate/inappropriate annotations to make on videos. Also discuss the fact that you are using someone else's video and should give proper credit for it. Use this tool to highlight the "important" stuff from several videos accessed from only one tagged wireWax video.

Your middle and high school gifted students will love this tool. Be sure to allow them some time to "play" and learn how it works (but not TOO long!). Challenge them to debunk (or support) information in a YouTube video by tagging it with sites offering conflicting or supporting evidence. Have them create a multimedia critique of a political ad by tagging it with counterpoints. If they are really ambitious, have them create their own video on a curriculum topic, such as a famous person, a constitutional concept, or local history site, then tag it with related resources carefully curated to add another layer of information. Add images of artworks to illustrate what an artist says in a video interview, for example. Add images ad links to toxic waste dumps to a video about plastics. These videos could end up being future teaching materials for your course!

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Sound Bible - SoundBible.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use ...more
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use the search bar to locate a specific sound or browse through sound effects or royalty free sounds available on the site. Click the arrow to hear the sound clip, then click on the name to go to the download section. Choose from wav, mp3, or zip file, and click to download. Share your own sounds using the link provided along with a short description of your sound file. The sound file information includes licensing information for the sound. If you search solely in Royalty Free sounds, you are safe to use them, but follow the attribution requirements as explained on the lower portion of the "Royalty Free sounds" page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use Sound Bible to find short sound clips for use in presentations, videos, or interactive whiteboard lessons. In primary grades, play sounds as cues for classroom management, such as bird sounds to gather "at the nest" for circle time. Use sound clips as story or journal starter ideas. Play a clip and have students create a story that incorporates that sound. Take your students on an audio tour of the rainforest as you learn about the various animals and sounds. Use this site during units about weather to share sounds from storms, wind, thunder, and more. Explore ocean sounds, animals sounds, etc. Use in world language classes to spark conversations and build vocabulary. Play background sounds during creative writing class. Challenge students to write about how the sounds make them feel. Challenge gifted or digitally-clever students to use these sounds to create an all-audio story to accompany a drawing or image. Use a tool such as Brainshark, -reviewed here.

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CommonCore Sheets - Common Core Sheets

Grades
2 to 8
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs,...more
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs, fractions, grids, lines, line plots, geometry, measurement, money, negative numbers, time, and SO much more)! In social studies find worksheets on geography, primary and secondary sources, and timelines. Language arts includes parts of speech and sentence types. Under each subject choose easy, medium, or hard worksheets. In Create a Review, choose your topic area and create your own worksheet. Also included are brain teasers, bingo games, and multiplication mazes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), fractions (239), measurement (159), money (193), negative numbers (22), operations (126), order of operations (33), parts of speech (68), primary sources (86), probability (130), sentences (52), time (144), timelines (62), variables (22)

In the Classroom

Find worksheets for every subject to better prepare your students for Common Core standards and testing. Use the sheets to make a formative or even summative assessment for many different topics in math. Use as a review or even practice. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to find extra practice. Printable answer keys come with the worksheets. Allow students to create their own quizzes. Easy to use, grade, and share. Use for gifted students needing some acceleration. Use for extra practice with students struggling with new concepts.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
3 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its url, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Even elementary grades can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role, though you may have to do it together as a class to upload the image. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create PhaseIt pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase It images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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Quandary - Learning Games Network

Grades
3 to 9
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Quandary is an online simulation in ethical decision-making while building a new colony on the planet Braxos. Face decisions without right or wrong answers but that have implications...more
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Quandary is an online simulation in ethical decision-making while building a new colony on the planet Braxos. Face decisions without right or wrong answers but that have implications on you and others in the colony. This activity was created for students ages 8-14. Login is optional to save scores or play as a guest. The game includes three different episodes with each containing different scenarios for decision-making. View information on the game, extension questions and more within the teachers and parents portions of the site. Find lesson plans, standards mapping (matched to Common Core ELA standards), and printable materials within the teachers section for classroom use. Don't miss the introduction videos explaining the site!

tag(s): creativity (109), critical thinking (108), ethics (16), game based learning (103)

In the Classroom

Try this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) to view students' choices of actions to take throughout the game. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here to explain the decision-making process for different scenarios.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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FotoFlexer - Arbor Labs, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw...more
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw on the photo, and add animated effects to flex your photo editing muscles. The tool is integrated with Facebook and most photosharing sites. You can also upload photos from your computer. Resave photos back to your computer, share online, or store in FotoFlexer. Flex your photos without an account or create an account to store them in FotoFlexer. Only the demonstrations require FLASH.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creativity with these fun photo effects. Type sentences or definitions on photos that represent vocabulary words. Highlight geometric shapes in photos with the drawing tool to show math in everyday life or around the world. Integrate images in multimedia products. Narrate images with UtellStory (reviewed here) or other digital storytelling tools. Use the text tool to draw information on maps. Upload images from science labs for students to annotate their experiment. Upload images of student artwork and have students annotate to explain their techniques. In world languages, add the vocabulary word for actions or objects to create a picture dictionary. Enhance pictures for blogs, wikis, or classroom sites. Be sure to check district policy before using student pictures. Annotate photos for visual directions for assignments. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures for student use. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here, Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here, or PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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What So Proudly We Hail: Making American Citizens Through Literature - Amy and Leon Kass

Grades
5 to 12
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three...more
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three categories. The Meaning of America explores the American character and identity through the "close reading" of classical short stories such as "To Build a Fire" and "Man Without a Country." The American Calendar examines the purpose of the American holiday, proposing the celebrations help to unite us and attach us to our country. Songs for Free Men and Women scrutinizes national songs for meaning and how they emotionally attach us to our nation. All of this curriculum is inquiry based. It also offers suggested discussion questions, study guides, author biographies, and video discussions to model how higher-level-thinking conversations about each text should sound. What So Proudly We Hail uses primary texts, has rigor, is inquiry based, and has many essay topics and writing prompts aligned to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. A few of the blog entries include helpful information about the Common Core standards.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): democracy (12), guided reading (47), holidays (147), literacy (103), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This comprehensive program can be a bit overwhelming at first look. You might want to pick just one, high interest short story lesson, perhaps Jack London's "To Build a Fire." This lesson and many others lends itself to small group discussion and work. The introduction makes observations and asks questions to encourage active reading and deep discussions that you may want to use as a class. Whether you and your students complete the lesson as a class or in small groups, you may want to use a program like Today's Meet reviewed here to enable all students to have a voice. If using small groups, have students post what the group decided are the answers on Today's Meet so everyone can see all answers. Where answers differ, have students go back into the reading and cite evidence to support their answer on Today's Meet for all to see. Teachers of gifted and music can choose selected ideas from this site, as well. A teaching team could make this site the focus of a year-long effort with so much material available. Upper elementary teachers and higher can make holidays and patriotic songs far more meaningful through close reading and class discussions
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Problem-Attic - EducAide Software

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select,...more
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Problem-Attic is a resource for finding and compiling the best questions from NY Regents, State Assessments, Academic Competitions, and more for classroom or individual use. Select, arrange, and format questions as desired. Select questions by browsing topics or exams. Add items as desired to your document with the link provided. Drag and drop selections into any order such as easy to hard, all multiple choice items together, etc. Choose a template for how questions should look. Choose other options such as allowing room for students to show work and printing an answer key. Preview your document until it is complete then print in PDF format.

tag(s): assessment (100), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Save this site as an excellent practice for end of year testing, state tests, and national tests. Use Problem-Attic to personalize learning for students. Share this tool on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom to prepare for state testing. Challenge your students to create (and print) practice tests for other students. Coaches for academic competitions can use this site for team practice. Teachers of gifted can use it for students to practice for out-of-level testing used to screen students for special gifted opportunities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Gettysburg by the Numbers - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 10
7 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is a web-based, interactive experience of the Battle of Gettysburg through numbers and infographics that raise questions and invite connections. Exploring...more
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Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is a web-based, interactive experience of the Battle of Gettysburg through numbers and infographics that raise questions and invite connections. Exploring Gettysburg "by the numbers" invites you to move beyond dates and facts to questions that make the battle more meaningful and real. Dig into the numbers to imagine the weather, the clothing, the communications, the people, the weapons, and--yes -- the cleanup from three devastating, pivotal July days in 1863. Delve into the infographics and accompanying questions to connect what was then with what is now. The site includes ideas for families and for teachers to use it in the classroom. Be sure to click on the large color image of the battle to get the "big picture." Teachers will want to explore the extensive "For Teachers" section that offers materials, lesson ideas, Common Core correlations, and much more.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26)

In the Classroom

Gettysburg exemplifies many aspects of the Civil War experience and of U.S. life during the 1860s. Use this resource as a whole class introduction to the Civil War or specifically to the Battle of Gettysburg. Extensive teacher materials include downloadable and customizable handouts for students to "get the basics" about the battle or extend their understanding through small group or individual projects on battle-related topics that interest them. Coordinate with your math teacher to reinforce concepts of proportion, percent, ratio, and graphing with real data about Gettysburg. Differentiate for your students by helping them select from more concrete or more open-ended "questions" included with each detail about the battle. You can make this a one-day "quick tour" or a week long journey. Find project ideas included in these questions. There is even a customizable project rubric in the teacher materials. Be sure to share this link on your class web page for curious students (and families) to explore on their own outside of class!

Comments

Excellent resource for research Arthur, TX, Grades: 0 - 12

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