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750 Words - Buster Benson

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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.
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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
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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...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.
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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.
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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
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Problem-Attic - EducAide Software

Grades
6 to 12
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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,...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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Symphonical - Bjorn Haugland

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized using Symphonical, an easy to use application made of whiteboards and sticky notes. Sign up to use the site using your email, Facebook, or Google+ login. Choose the ...more
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Get organized using Symphonical, an easy to use application made of whiteboards and sticky notes. Sign up to use the site using your email, Facebook, or Google+ login. Choose the type of wall you want to use: calendar, meeting agenda, or prioritized to-do's. Create your own wall if you don't see an option that works for your needs. Add notes and information as desired. Collaborate with others easily. Change colors of notes to represent priorities, to designate users, or to sort and categorize information. Drag and drop notes to different boxes on your whiteboard as desired. Click on category titles to change information. Add columns or rows or move columns. Share walls with participants, setting options including private or public viewing and allowing viewers to participate on the wall.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), bulletin boards (16), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to track steps for accomplishing a project. This is great for improving organizational skills! Increase communication among members of a group. Use with individual students to identify educational goals (such as emotional support or learning support goals) and help set steps for reaching these goals. Keep track of assignments easily with one click. Share documents and other material through the sticky notes. Teachers of gifted but disorganized students or learning support students can draw these students into better organizational skills using this engaging tool.

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OK2Ask®:Blooms 2.0 March 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 11, 2013 opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to create a classroom rich with all levels of Blooms Taxonomy...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 11, 2013 opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to create a classroom rich with all levels of Blooms Taxonomy using new and HOT technology. This session includes a brief introduction to Blooms Taxonomy, but the main focus is sharing tools to connect Blooms with Web 2.0 tools. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Learn the basics of Blooms Taxonomy; Browse and explore various tools to use at all levels of Blooms Taxonomy available on TeachersFirst; Discuss and share the importance of keeping Bloom in the classroom; (Follow-up) Plan and implement a lesson or activity using a Web 2.0 tool that promotes one of the higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy.

In the Classroom

Enrich your classroom with Blooms! Watch this recording with a few of your colleagues to develop a plan to incorporate more HOTS in your classroom. Or simply visit the resource page to learn more about Blooms Taxonomy and to find some great web resources to use in your classroom. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Loose Leaves - looseleaves.me

Grades
2 to 12
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Loose Leaves is a place to put thoughts that don't quite fit anywhere else. As they put it, "For Thoughts That Don't Have a Home." It is similar to ...more
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Loose Leaves is a place to put thoughts that don't quite fit anywhere else. As they put it, "For Thoughts That Don't Have a Home." It is similar to an instant web page maker. No registration required. Click on the leaf and begin composing your thoughts. Insert a title and begin writing. Edit font style, alignment, indent, and paragraph style using tools provided. Insert images using the image link. Images must already be online so you can point to them by url. Adjust image size, description, and placement in your document as desired. You can even drag images directly into your document from another open browser window! Choose Save to receive the url for your page. You will receive 2 url's: one for sharing and one to use for editing your page. Be sure to save that url in your Favorites or a document so you do not lose it! Collect lines for future poems, figures of speech that you like, or simply thoughts in this "idea bin" for writing.
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post or collect material for simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. Collect a master list of urls to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on publishing student work. The beauty of Loose Leaves is that there aren't any identifiers such as email address, name, or other information about the user. Publications are completely anonymous, if desired. Create pages for quick link sharing or for upcoming events such as field trips, class party information, school events, science fair, etc. Students can create simple pages to share links to include in presentations so classmates can participate on laptops. If you are beginning a major creative project such as a literary magazine or research project, Loose Leaves is a wonderful place for writers to collect questions and ideas to be developed later. Share this one with your gifted students as a place to collect written ideas or to collaborate on any kind of writing, such as a poem or script. Just be sure your disorganized ones save both the sharing urls: the one to view it and the one to edit it. If they do not mark these and save them to favorites, they will be gone forever! (You COULD start the page for them and give them the url to edit it... but you would not be helping them learn organization skills!)

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Whyville - Mundeon

Grades
4 to 10
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that...more
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that promote socially responsible behavior. There are many activities to explore, and you can chat with other users. The Zero Gravity Chamber features angles and the principle of Newton's 3rd Law. In the Rocket Design Lab simulate rockets to test parameters such as nozzle size and pay load. The Engine Lab has 3 games that teach about electric charges and ion engines. Citizens must be aware of infectious illnesses and plagues that infect the citizens of Whyville. Join in the hot air balloon race to analyze vector fields to navigate hot air balloons. Go on an art treasure hunt around the world. At the dance studio design and choreograph your own dances. Visit the beach, the climate center, take a swim, or meet your friends at the playground or waterfall. Simulations change every time you enter Whyville. Earn clams, a salary, manage a bank account, get a pet, and read the daily news. Log-in (with email) is required to fully participate in this site. However, most of the site is accessible without registration. Don't miss this award winning website!

tag(s): aircraft (24), animals (276), dance (28), diseases (66), logic (235), money (193), motion (59), puzzles (208), recycling (57), social skills (20), vectors (25)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, join as a teacher and manage each students account. Reinforce safe online behavior as your students explore opportunities for learning.The chat feature is a perfect opportunity practice safe interactions. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a reward in your classroom or as a way to extend and enrich concepts learned in math and science. Offer Whyville as a safe enrichment tool for students to use at home. Encourage all students to join in the educational activities. Design a simplified version of this site for younger children with your class. Use one of the many animation tools available at the TeachersFirst Edge.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hooktheory - Hooktheory, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Hooked on music theory? Hooktheory satisfies your musical needs. Lend Hooktheory your ear and it will train it. The ear training tool challenges you to figure out a chord progression...more
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Hooked on music theory? Hooktheory satisfies your musical needs. Lend Hooktheory your ear and it will train it. The ear training tool challenges you to figure out a chord progression and melody by ear. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels meet the needs of any ear. Try to best the top score or play for fun. Write chord progressions and melodies using the music editor. Type the numbers 1-7 to enter your melody. Can't read music? No worries. Each scale degree is assigned a color to help reinforce the note's sound in your mind to enhance recognition. The editor uses a relative scale so accidentals aren't possible in your melody. Create separate harmony and melody and export your song into a midi file. Import your midi into GarageBand or export your song as a guitar tab or sheet music.

Explore analyses of popular songs through an appetizer of the full song or contribute your own. Listen through YouTube or to the piano version. (If your district blocks YouTube, 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.) Change the key or the tempo of the track for over 1300 songs archived in this format. The ability to quickly explore visually how chords are used in different songs opens up a huge potential for discovery and learning. Hooktheory Chapter 1 is free, the remaining chapters are for a fee. This review is only based on the free portions of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): music theory (43), musical notation (35)

In the Classroom

Hooktheory is a great site for computer stations in music class as you work with ensembles or individual students. Support music theory instruction with the interactive tools available. Students can analyze songs before creating their own. Download students' creations as guitar tab, sheet music, or as a midi file. Ensembles, solos, or duets can play the tunes students create. Import the midi file into GarageBand to add background music or to enhance the selection. Have students create their own music to reflect the tone or mood of a poem or piece of writing. Don't have Garageband or aren't familiar with a midi file? Why not simply create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Teachers of gifted students seeking to do individual music projects will appreciate this site, especially if the teacher is not a music expert!

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Plan It Green - National Geographic Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Plan It Green is a free tool to create a city and add ecological, "green" improvements. The main task is to construct various buildings in four different categories: residential,...more
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Plan It Green is a free tool to create a city and add ecological, "green" improvements. The main task is to construct various buildings in four different categories: residential, commercial, recreation, and facilities. As the city is built, you must manage happiness, finances, pollution, energy, and employed workers. The residential and commercial buildings provide daily taxes and energy credits. Energy credits can be sold for money that you can use for materials. Upgrades for the buildings and the environment are also included in the game. Use the tutorial to walk through the tools and read accompanying information. Register by naming your city and activating through email. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, you may want to view the video at home to learn more about this simulation.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (198), environment (317), fossil fuels (18), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Use this activity to show how certain buildings can change aspects of happiness, health, and other factors. Brainstorm ways to improve aspects of a city prior to playing the game. Groups of students can even collaborate on a specific city. Students can report on various ways they improved their city including starting with smaller homes, green houses, or by improving large, older homes. Enter screenshots and specific information about the game play on a wiki or other site and research various communities that have achieved those changes. To take a screenshot simply Shift+ Command +4 on a Mac (saves to your Downloads) or Prtscrn key and PASTE on Windows. Propose similar changes in your own community at the end of the play and research. This would be an ideal activity leading up to Earth Day or during an environmental unit. Teachers of gifted could build an entire long term unit around it.

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Book Adventure - Book Adventure

Grades
K to 12
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Find ways to encourage and get your students to splash in the world of reading. Designed for grades K-12, the site offers a search engine to find new literature to ...more
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Find ways to encourage and get your students to splash in the world of reading. Designed for grades K-12, the site offers a search engine to find new literature to read, short quizzes to check your comprehension of over 8,000 books in the database, a Kid's Zone (mainly for elementary students), plus links for both teachers and parents! They also offer prizes. Build your own booklists. You can search by grade level, difficulty, and even subject (MANY to choose from). Request a free teacher kit for detailed and engaging ways to motivate your students. Find resources for successful parent involvement. Watch the introductory video on the homepage to learn more. Contests through the site offer additional reading incentives. While this site does offer a book search and quizzes for all grade levels K-12, it has an "elementary" look. Registration is FREE, but required for several of the activities. Registration requires an email address (for teachers, students, or parents).

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (128), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Find detailed ways to help parents support the wonderful world of reading with their students. Have each student create individual reading lists and work towards prizes. Students can use this site as a search tool to find new reading suggestions. Motivate students by setting individual goals. Use quizzes for books as part of literature studies, or examine the type of questions given. Challenge your students to create their own quizzes about a book they recently read. Have students create their own quizzes (and more) using ClassTools (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Energy Kids - US Energy Information Administration

Grades
K to 8
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Find a great source for all your energy information at Energy Kids! Discover energy sources, forms of energy (renewable and non-renewable), electricity, hydrogen, and recent statistics...more
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Find a great source for all your energy information at Energy Kids! Discover energy sources, forms of energy (renewable and non-renewable), electricity, hydrogen, and recent statistics on energy use. There are games and activities to help reinforce the concepts presented. Detailed lesson plans, science fair experiments, field trip information, and more help you provide a more comprehensive unit. Don't miss the history of energy timeline with all the famous people. There is even a link "For Teachers" where you can find lesson plans from K to secondary.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (198), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Share the resources found here on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as part of your wiki on energy, renewable resources, and conservation. Add to a center to improve reading skills as well as new literacies in technology. Find excellent information to include for your Prezi, Powerpoint, or Live Binders on energy. Enhance your ESL/ELL students understanding of your energy unit using the visuals and reinforcement of basic concepts.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Magical Maths - Magical Maths

Grades
6 to 12
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Magical Maths is a blog dedicated to exploring and sharing math concepts and teaching ideas from around the world. Some example topics include how to teach anyone to multiply any ...more
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Magical Maths is a blog dedicated to exploring and sharing math concepts and teaching ideas from around the world. Some example topics include how to teach anyone to multiply any two digit numbers in 11 seconds and the top 10 biggest brain damaging habits. The blog is written in the United Kingdom so references to their curriculum and "key stage" divisions are included. However, the material is appropriate to anyone teaching math. Search the site using keywords to find posts on particular subjects. Choose from specific categories listed on the side of the page. One very useful category is the lesson starters with ideas for beginning a math lesson. Subscribe to the blog to receive updates via RSS feed. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (100), blogs (88), logic (235)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to bookmark/save as a favorite and visit often for interesting ideas to use in math class to promote thinking skills. Challenge your students to demonstrate their own understanding of a math concept by creating a video using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Brain Genie - CK12 Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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This STEM Initiative provides easy to understand and detailed videos about Math and Science concepts for grades 1-12. Choose from the categories: 1-8 Math, Algebra I, Chemistry, 6-8...more
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This STEM Initiative provides easy to understand and detailed videos about Math and Science concepts for grades 1-12. Choose from the categories: 1-8 Math, Algebra I, Chemistry, 6-8 Math, Precalculus, and more. Click to a specific topic within the category. View the video lesson and answer questions about material learned. If you miss a question, a pop up explains the topic again. You are directed to try to answer the questions again. Choose to review the topic again or move on to the next lesson. Practice and learn without registering or register to earn badges to show your progress through the topics.

tag(s): angles (88), area (66), cells (102), decimals (133), ecology (135), equations (155), evolution (100), fractions (239), game based learning (103), genetics (90), logic (235), molecules (43), money (193), operations (126), patterns (85), percent (82), perimeter (32), photosynthesis (33), place value (56), probability (130), problem solving (272), ratios (53), respiration (17), sequencing (31), STEM (134), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Find great ideas for using this tool in the classroom with this video. Be sure to include this link with your resources for students to find alternate explanations to topics for better understanding. Assign various topics as a review in addition to lecture and other classroom activities. Assign a specific topic (not already learned in class) for cooperative groups to view. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site/activity using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here).

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