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Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while infusing some social studies content, specifically the early colonial period. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content or that students may be losing a sense of our history and heritage, this is a way to fortify your students' knowledge of early American history and heritage together with their skills in reading and writing. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. The book suggestions are not necessarily ones your students would read on their own, but nestle in well as read-alouds in social studies curriculum across elementary grades.

tag(s): book lists (133), colonial america (108), commoncore (95), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the library (or search for interlibrary loans) to help "fit" social studies into your read-alouds, making every minute count! Consider using them as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to early settlements or the thirteen colonies. Be sure to look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (62)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Have students find examples on tv and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, Tagxedo, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map Stack - Stamen

Grades
6 to 12
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Create highly stylized map images with this tool. This tool is very similar to the Photoshop layers palette and easily creates map layers using data already available in Open Street...more
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Create highly stylized map images with this tool. This tool is very similar to the Photoshop layers palette and easily creates map layers using data already available in Open Street Map. Create layers using backgrounds, roads, labels, and satellite imagery. Modify the layers' color, opacity, and brightness. Easily highlight or color portions of the map you want to standout. Share the image you create via Pinterest or Tumblr. Share your map image also by a link. Use precision detail with image overlays and layer effects, even creating masks for other layers. The tool can also be used to create a regular map in the colors you want. This site takes some tinkering to figure out but yields colorful and interesting maps.

tag(s): images (274), maps (293)

In the Classroom

Use to focus on and compare resources found in various communities or geographic locations. Identify where natural resources are concentrated in the world. Compare street design in various communities, concentration of population, and more. Create artistic representations of various areas as a project. Include this tool for your tech savvy students to try as you study different types of maps. Challenge them to create a map that has traditional elements such as terrain, and also uses color and image tools to emphasize or communicate information about a location, such as toxic waste locations or musical "scenes." Art teachers can suggest this tool for students to create geo-based artworks or create images to use in Earth Day posters.

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The Library of Congress American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet...more
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. Some of the categories are Advertising, Environment and Conservation, Immigration and American Expansion, Performing Arts, Sports and Recreation, and many others. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that make up America.

tag(s): advertising (35), african american (114), architecture (84), branches of government (50), cities (25), conservation (126), cultures (110), environment (318), immigration (58), industrialization (14), literature (274), maps (293), native americans (78), north america (19), presidents (132), religions (68), sports (98), women (92)

In the Classroom

Use American Memory in your study of either state, or United States history providing further primary and secondary resources to bring life into your subject matter. Discover point of view or popular opinion found in the collections. Use on your interactive whiteboard with the class, or even as a resource on projects to give a personal reference. Combine with literature for understanding of a place or time in American history. Look at the year of birth for your students to compare and contrast for today. Use as an example for your year of learning in your subject area or even grade level. Be sure to list as a resource on student computers or your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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English Cobuild Dictionary - Reverso

Grades
5 to 12
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This special dictionary for language learners has several unique features: definitions, examples, and explanations for natural language words and phrases. It also has constant updates...more
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This special dictionary for language learners has several unique features: definitions, examples, and explanations for natural language words and phrases. It also has constant updates as the "cobuilders" (other contributors) add to it. Read the explanation of the site BEFORE you start to search a word. The larger part of this site also includes tools for Translation, Conjugation, Grammar, and Spell Check (install the Reverso toolbar on your computer). In addition to defining the word or phrase, the dictionary also allows you to click on any blue word or phrase in the definition for more definitions, audio, and sometimes video explanations. There is an option to search for the word in video/text news stories. It pulls up short little blurbs of authentic news stories, some accompanied by video (with the blurb being read) or a picture. Pronunciation is available for all words (click the word, then "speak"). The company that created the site is British, but its dictionary entries include comments on both American and British usage. The site is a collaborative site, so anyone can add new entries. In addition to being useful for any English language learner, there are features available in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. You can even set up your own vocabulary lists if you want to use this site as a personalized learning tool. Although we didn't find anything inappropriate at this site, you will want to preview this site before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arabic (21), chinese (50), dictionaries (57), french (90), german (65), italian (34), russian (28), spanish (108), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Before turning students loose on this site, especially if their English is weak, show them how to navigate it on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it available for all ELL students. Install the Reverso toolbar on your computer to access the dictionary, translator, conjugator, grammar, and spell-checker. If your school computers are "locked down," ask the techies about installing it on at least one class computer to use for reference. Bookmark the site on classroom computers where any World Language instruction takes place. Use this site in World Language classes to enrich your lessons in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. Share this site with families on for use at home.

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Flipboard - Flipboard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed"...more
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Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed" from a web source such as CNN, a Twitter hashtag, or a favorite blog. Most Flipboard consumers read their magazines on mobile devices, but you can manage and access your magazines from the "web tools" page (the link from this review) on a computer. Create your personal magazine(s) with things you care about: news, staying connected, social networks, and more. Create an account with Flipboard and then connect with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Click the More panel to browse other categories and add them to your magazines. Drag the Flipboard button to your bookmarks bar or use the Flipboard app on your smartphone or tablet. Find an article you want to add to your collection? Click the + button next to the article to save it or simply click "Flip It" on your computer's browser toolbar to add that web page to your magazine. Edit your magazines online and share with friends and colleagues. View your RSS feeds or follow your news stream in social media with this magazine-style interface. Most of the tutorial videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home. If you want to share the videos with students, bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Flipboard is a device agnostic tool. Load the free app on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), news (265), social networking (112), video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a class Flipboard account and create magazines for each unit studied through the year. Add information that is useful for student understanding, application of concepts, or materials to be used for projects. Create a magazine of great articles and information to read or search through. Consider creating a Flipboard magazine for student current events or happenings. Use this for reports on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Make a customized "feed" for more advanced information on a topic for your gifted and advanced students. Students can curate a Flipboard of pictures or videos from the web on a certain topic to share with their classmates. Create a Professional Development Flipboard with other teachers. Teacher-librarians may want to work together with classroom teachers to create magazines of certain content for students to use during research units. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a magazine for themselves on a topic of individual interest, creating a "PLN" they can use for years. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect feeds from literary publications and author blogs. They will probably also discover related Flipboards created by others. As gifted students' interests change, they can curate other topical "magazines" to keep learning, even if the topics do not fall within the traditional curriculum. You may find that the personalization of learning is something ALL your students want to do.

Comments

There are amazing collections on this site. Cindi, NC, Grades: 0 - 6

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100Reporters - 100 Reporters

Grades
8 to 12
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government,...more
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government, and more. Be sure to click on the World tab to view articles by region. Build your own critical thinking as you read these articles and compare them with typical media sources. Although all articles appear perfectly appropriate for older students, we still suggest previewing this site before you share with students. Some of the topics are sensitive and/or graphic.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): media literacy (62), persuasive writing (56)

In the Classroom

In discussions of current events, find great news articles that get to the heart of the story. Compare them with other news outlets to discuss how money and the viewpoints of business owners can cloud the actual reporting. Be sure to discuss how to find parent websites by investigating the shortened address (url) of sites as well as the advertisements found on pages. Compare and contrast news stories found on a variety of news pages. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two news stories. In world language or world cultures classes, discover what the "hot topics" are by looking at news stories from the region being studied. In writing classes, use these articles compared with those on the same topic from other sources for students to collect supporting evidence to use in essay writing.

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50 Amazing Facts About Earth - Jason Major

Grades
5 to 12
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth,...more
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth, Ground, and Man. Take a look to learn something new... and possibly to wonder whether everything it says is true.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), geology (81), landforms (47), oceans (150), soil (18), space (218)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great introduction into digital literacy. Ask students how they know that these facts are actually true? Discuss how you can research the author, the quality of the site itself, the comments made, etc. Compare this site to others that are deemed to be "authorities" and with those that are not. Each student could choose one or two of these facts to do further research, not only to determine whether the facts are true, but to find important background information that can make the fact relevant to other students and the class. Be sure to check out the comments to see those who dispute some of the "facts" in the Infographic. Use research to determine which facts are correct. Why are some of the facts correct or incorrect, and what misconceptions exist about these facts? For quick projects, have students create instant graphics of important words about the Earth using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): computers (92), search strategies (29)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Minilogs - Minilogs

Grades
7 to 12
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Collect and curate media and links with Minilogs. Create one short URL to share multiple URLs. Make your own playlists. Explore the list created by others in Minilogs. Save ...more
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Collect and curate media and links with Minilogs. Create one short URL to share multiple URLs. Make your own playlists. Explore the list created by others in Minilogs. Save videos and audio files from YouTube, Vimeo, Sound Cloud, Spotify, and more. This tool can also be used as a bookmarklet to keep interesting blog posts or other items from the Internet. Along with each URL, Minilogs also shows a thumbnail and allows you to easily write notes next to each of the images. Publish your playlists on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Collaborate with your friends or colleagues on Minilogs. Watch the video for more information on how to use Minilogs and explore the gallery of Minilogs to see how they work. Note: VERY few of the topics in the public "Explore" galleries are of educational value. We do not recommend sending classes of students to explore. While most of the Minilog videos currently shared on the site are hosted on YouTube, a few were on Vimeo. You appear to be able to use any content that you wish. So if YouTube is blocked at your school, there are many other options to use.

tag(s): bookmarks (64), video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a class Minilog account to keep a running account of useful articles, videos, and items for use in class. Add content that the students find and discuss in class. Use for students to keep a running account of current events in the classroom, science news and the impact on society, and more. Minilogs could be used in music, art, government, and nearly any other subject. Create Minilogs about current (or past) presidents. Create a Minilog to share a specific art style or music genre. Collect videos on a certain topic, even from several content video sites like Khan Academy to "flip" your class with an entire playlist of options. The possibilities are endless. Challenge students to create their own Minilogs in cooperative learning groups or independently. If you are teaching about media literacy or advertising bias, Minilogs are the perfect way for students to create curated collections of videos with accompanying notes.

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PAT - Public Domain Country Maps - Ian Macky

Grades
4 to 12
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PAT is a large collection of open source maps for every country in the world. Click on any country in the alphabetized list to view available options such as regional ...more
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PAT is a large collection of open source maps for every country in the world. Click on any country in the alphabetized list to view available options such as regional maps or neighboring countries. Choose from a traditional or high-contrast background color scheme. Download all maps in a zip file using links provided.

tag(s): africa (176), antarctica (29), asia (70), australia (36), countries (77), europe (74), maps (293), north america (19), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save PAT as a resource for free printable maps for use anytime needed. Share with students to easily find and locate geographic information. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

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MapStory - MapStory Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and...more
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This tool is an interesting way to visualize geographic information by telling it in a story format. You organize knowledge in MapStory by becoming storytellers who create, share, and collaborate. You can help to improve understanding of worldwide issues over the course of history. MapStory is much like Wikipedia. It is a global database to tell stories over time using maps. View fascinating maps such as trends in US poverty, the spreading of diseases such as the Swine Flu, and the increasing use of the US Postal Service. View many topics from endangered species to economic development -- anything you can place on a map! By clicking on the "play" button, you can see the change over time through an unfolding story. Hover over the tabs along the top of the toolbar to select a category of stories. Be sure to also notice as maps scroll across the top of the screen. Click on maps of interest and view tools for saving in favorites or embedding in a site. Search the site for StoryLayers. The StoryLayers are data that have been uploaded to the site to apply in maps. Be sure to check out the YouTube videos which explain how to use this fascinating site. 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 with your class, if needed. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): interactive stories (31), maps (293), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Find great MapStory maps to introduce a concept or explain a portion of the concept that may be difficult to introduce in class. Use one to show initially, eliciting thoughts and questions from students. Because it is an open database, maps could contain errors. Have students be on the lookout for any possible errors. Students can fact check, research, and rewrite information as needed. Consider creating an assignment that shows a change in information over time. This project would be applicable to any subject area. Consider creating a class account to maintain the MapStories created by your students. Imagine new information being added every year with new updates to the map! World language (or world cultures) classes could collaborate to create a map story about a specific culture.

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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
9 to 12
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form....more
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form. Finding authentic projects for students can be a challenge. Here, students can create an account, choose a project, and contribute their transcriptions of historic documents. Current projects include diaries, field notes, and other primary sources.

tag(s): local history (14), primary sources (93)

In the Classroom

A wonderful extension or enrichment project for responsible high school students, the Transcription Center allows students to interact with primary sources, learn about the importance of everyday records of the lives of those who go before us, and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the universe of information that will be available to future scholars. Small groups of students could share a transcription project and check each other's before submitting, or discuss the texts they have transcribed. Students interested in independent research might find a transcription project that adds to their understanding of a particular subject. You might even consider using transcription as a community service project or an initiative in your gifted ed class.

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All About Explorers - All About Explorers

Grades
5 to 8
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary ...more
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary school and middle school students sort the garbage from the gold on the Internet. Despite the name of the site, it's not really about explorers at all. In fact, all the biographies of the (very real) explorers on this site are fictional. Teachers can use the site in two ways: The "Treasure Hunt" section allows students to compare the biography on the All About Explorers site with a linked biography on a "real" site and asks them to compare the two and draw conclusions. Alternatively, there is a more comprehensive Web Quest section that allows for a more complete and lengthy lesson with the same object.

tag(s): explorers (65), internet safety (108), media literacy (62), webquests (30)

In the Classroom

The trick in using All About Explorers is to keep the real lesson a secret at the beginning and allow students to come to their own conclusion. Processing that "aha!" moment when students recognize that there is a hidden agenda here will have a much more lasting impression than simply telling students they cannot believe everything they read. Deep inside, students often believe they can easily tell the difference between the Truth and something that is misleading or downright false. All About Explorers will help them see how difficult that can be. They might also learn something about explorers in the process! Extend this lesson by having student groups find another suspect site and create a screencast of that "suspicious" site, pointing out characteristics that indicate an unreliable source. A tool such as Screenr (reviewed here ) or Screencast-o-Matic (reviewed here) will allow them to create a "tour" of the fallacies they find.

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Scrible Student Edition - Scrible

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers...more
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Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, when you're on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. Access your work right where you left off from editing. Use the option to format your bibliographies as you bookmark. Compile your article clippings into one package. Students may sign up using their academic email address. (If your school's domain name is not recognized as "academic," sign up for the free account and send a "feedback" email explaining that your email address is that of a student.) Student Scrible accounts have double the storage capacity of the standard free account. Educators sign up for the Basic Edition and then click the feedback link to let Scrible know you're an educator. They will set you up with a special edition which includes the same features. Work smarter, not harder with Scrible. Saving your bookmarks with Scrible allows you to easily go back to review a site, and you'll see immediately why you bookmarked that site.

tag(s): citations (36), summarizing (15)

In the Classroom

Your students' online research will be efficient and effective with Scrible. Students can take notes on their bookmarks. They only need to bookmark the part of the website they need for their assignment. Students can collaborate with peers on their research. Post articles and documents online for your students to highlight and annotate. Bookmark this tool on your website or blog for your students to access in or outside of the classroom. Use Scrible to annotate professional development articles or to highlight important information for your students. The best part? It will instantly create your bibliography for you!

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Crafting Digital Writing - Troy Hicks

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
This companion page (wiki) for the book Crafting Digital Writing is a terrific resource for anyone who wants to share writing or present research results digitally, including...more
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This companion page (wiki) for the book Crafting Digital Writing is a terrific resource for anyone who wants to share writing or present research results digitally, including text and other media. Find suggestions and examples for digital media. Links include example pages for copyright law, a list of web publishing tools, tools for gathering information, citing sources, brainstorming, presentations, Video/Multimedia, Photo Editing, Screencasting, and several other topics. Examples include a student essay, a wiki of Death of a Salesman converted to PDF format, webpages, videos, and more.

tag(s): copyright (49), digital citizenship (65), digital storytelling (153), professional development (156), writing (369)

In the Classroom

The Common Core State Standards Anchor Standard for Writing CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 calls for students to use the technology to share their writing and to interact with others as part of this digital writing process. With this in mind, sharing this Digital Writing resource with your English department members and with science and history departments is a natural. This page is a terrific resource for any upper elementary or secondary teacher who wants students to produce writing or present research results digitally. For those interested, here is a video of Troy Hicks outlining the principles of his approach and the five themes he adheres to for a writing class: Troy Hicks Video. This video is hosted on YouTube. If Youtube is blocked at your school, it may be worth viewing at home prior to introducing your students to the resources. Use this companion wiki page directly with students or create an English department Symbaloo webmix or Livebinder of digital writing resources for students to practice ethical and powerful digital writing. Make digital writing a year long initiative in your school.

Comments

Excellent resources Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Patchwork Nation - Jefferson Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election,...more
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election, but has been maintained and updated since that time. It presents the vast diversity of the United States using demographic data and categorizing communities into one of a dozen community types. With names like "Campus and Careers," "Military Bastions," and "Evangelical Epicenters" each community type represents an important subset of what makes up the American Experience. This site drills down much deeper than the typical red state/blue state dichotomy and challenges us to think about what characteristics work to define US citizens.

tag(s): branches of government (50), census (19), communities (35), democracy (13), demographics (19), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site could be useful in a variety of classroom settings. A sociology class might grapple with the generalizations inherent in each of the 12 community types. What does it mean to be a "Tractor Country" community? The associated charts and demographics can help prove or disprove those theories. A government class might consider the impact of these different community types all existing within one Congressional district. How might that legislator best represent those communities at the State level or the Federal level? An economics class might speculate on the distribution of wealth in the US. What factors influence that distribution? A US History class could speculate about how these different communities have come to be. What impact has immigration had? Industrialization? Geography? Are there regional differences that could stem from the Civil War? And a statistics class would find plenty of raw data to play around with. In a "Patchwork Nation," what does it mean to be "average"?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spigot - spigot.org

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This free tool is an aggregation site for news, research, information, and opinion about learning and technology. Hover over the titles to read an abstract or click to be taken ...more
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This free tool is an aggregation site for news, research, information, and opinion about learning and technology. Hover over the titles to read an abstract or click to be taken to the site. There are video clips, slideshows, articles, and more. Share easily with others through email, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. Interested in a specific topic? Use the tags on the left to view an entire category of related information. The site operates "automatically" by following certain feeds and web news searches, so new items appear very often. Although the title is Spigot, it could seem like "Firehose"! The content seems appropriate for secondary classrooms, but you might want to preview just before you turn students loose to be sure.

tag(s): media literacy (62), news (265)

In the Classroom

Use these articles to discuss the future of education and the use of technology both in high school and higher education. As students are the most important stakeholders in education, many of these articles are relevant to them and their future. Students will especially be interested in the Practice and Alt. Culture sections of this site. Discuss current events in your classroom and ask students to investigate an angle on technology and/or education for a persuasive writing piece or debate. Students have incredible insight into their own learning and technology use. Keep this link bookmarked on your classroom computer or linked to your blog, wiki, or class page. Use examples from this site to look for bias or editorial slant as part of an information literacy unit. Select articles for experience with informational texts.

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RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation - Karen M. Christensson

Grades
6 to 12
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details...more
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details on that topic. An excellent rubric is available for download in PDF format. This simple site is a great resource for discussing and teaching information literacy lessons about evaluating information and sources.

tag(s): evaluating sources (14), internet safety (108), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Share this site and content on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you begin a project involving research. Demonstrate how to use this site before allowing students to explore on their own. Print and use the rubric available on the site. Require that students (or groups) complete the rubric on their chosen sources for research. Share a link to the site on your class website and classroom computer for easy student (and parent) reference at any time. Another idea: assign cooperative learning groups one part of the acronym. Each group could create a presentation to share with the class about what they learned about their part of the evaluation process. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Students will LOVE finding and sharing examples of "bad" sources!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Find me Words - FindMeWords

Grades
1 to 12
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Find Me Words is a word generator that finds words in many different ways. You can simply type your word into the text box and click Find! Options include: Find ...more
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Find Me Words is a word generator that finds words in many different ways. You can simply type your word into the text box and click Find! Options include: Find Me a Word, Words With Letters, Definitions, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Scrabble. Enter letter combinations, look for words of a certain length or with a certain root or prefix. There is a lot here to explore. Tread carefully allowing students to search on their own as some more mature content/vocabulary is included.

tag(s): antonyms (26), phonics (71), synonyms (38), vocabulary development (124), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Add a technology twist to your word study program. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and explore together with your students. In your phonics block, go further by looking at word patterns, beginning sounds, and ending sounds. In your Greek and Latin roots study, search for words by prefix or suffix. Use as a resource for writer's workshop, using the synonyms and antonyms. Increase vocabulary with the definitions. Make words into an exploratory "game" using this site. Have students collect favorite word discoveries on their own wiki page.

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