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Tocomail - Tocobox

Grades
2 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account ...more
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Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account is set up, kids receive and send emails in a kid-friendly format. Tocomail includes additional features such as custom avatars, a drawing board, and a picture timeline. Receive email online or through free apps for iPhones and iPads. (An Android app is in the works.) Premium features (not free) allow parents more detailed controls.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital citizenship (59), internet safety (106)

In the Classroom

Have students use Tocomail (with parent approval, of course) to correspond with each other from home with homework questions. Cooperate with parents to use Tocomail as a resource for teaching Internet safety and acceptable use of email. Ask them to set up accounts for their children and notify them when you will be asking students to write emails so they can see and monitor what children write along with you. Share with parents through your newsletter, back to school night, or blog as an alternative to typical email accounts. Together you can build good digital citizens and make electronic communication fun! Have students write you a "friendly letter" email for homework. Have them write an opinion piece with "arguments" a la Common Core and email it to a local official such as the school principal (and cc you so you can grade it). Encourage your ELL students to practice authentic writing skills by having them write emails to relatives.

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Florida Memory - The State Archives of Florida

Grades
4 to 12
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110...more
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110 videos, an audio collection, historical and genealogical collection, exhibits, and an online classroom. The online classroom contains lesson plans, online activities, and primary documents of Florida's past. Enjoy folk music from Florida's past or look at Florida in the Civil War. There is a lot here to explore about Florida and beyond.

tag(s): black history (59), civil war (145), florida (11), hurricanes (35), states (162)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, integrate primary documents in addition to your text to get a broader picture of history, even if you are not teaching specifically about Florida. Take a closer look at history, through the multiple aspects of video, audio, laws, and land grants. Look at perspectives of Civil War from a southern state. Make biographies of Florida residents come alive with the culture of their time. Compare and contrast Florida and another state. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Examine the history of space through NASA. You and your students can discover how Civil Rights progressed in Florida. Look at the history of the Seminole tribe as you study native Americans. Challenge students to create an infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here, about a certain period in Florida's history or to compare Florida and other states. Before beginning the infographic, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!). Use this resource to meet Common Core standards about primary sources or writing. Challenge students to produce digital writing and interact with others online.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wibki - Roy Pessis

Grades
K to 12
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories...more
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories and labels you choose. Through the use of icons, Wibki displays each bookmark in a visually appealing display, making them easy to find and use. View up to 40 icons at one time. This view is especially handy on a tablet. Registration is required (with email.) Share any link on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the edit (pencil) icon in the link. Use the Discover link to find new favorites offered by Wibki editors weekly. Click on the star to add to any of your categories. Add the bookmarklet to your browser bar to quickly add any website as a favorite. Wibki works well with touch and click features on any device.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), DAT device agnostic tool (198)

In the Classroom

Create a Wibki of the most used sites for your class. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Be sure to link your Wibki on a computer center in your room for easy access. Since icons are shown rather than words, you could use this site with your nonreaders. Create a Wibki mix for parents and students to access at home before tests. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter Wibkis for all your students.

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Worldcrunch - All News Is Global - Jeff Israely and Irene Toporkoff

Grades
8 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time...more
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time bureau chief and foreign correspondent for various U.S. publications. He has teamed with a media collaborator from France. Worldcrunch is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. During periods of controversy or high international tension, this is an informative source for teens to adults. Explore the interactive map to find news from specific locations or browse through headlines on the main page. This site is very up to date and includes articles from the news today around the world. Choose from topics such as World Affairs, Tech/Science, or Culture/Society. Easily share articles using social networking and email links. Use the "Read Later" link to email, send to Pocket reviewed here. Free app versions are available for both Android and iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), DAT device agnostic tool (198), journalism (46), media literacy (58), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world events. This site would also provide contrasting texts for close reading as required by Common Core. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast coverage between two newspapers. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here after reading and comparing many different articles. Build student awareness of the limited view provided by some publications, especially during times of international tension. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education Week or as part of a unit on the basics and nuances of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries. Use a free tool like Screenr, reviewed here, to create screencasts.

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Noisli - Stefano Merlo

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that...more
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Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Even Coffee House is a sound that is the general hum of a business and not distracting to your work. As the music plays, the background color changes through a variety of harmonious colors to match the mood of the sound. Click on multiple sounds to create your own mix that is sure to please. Note: Be patient for the music to start, and be sure to click the icon again to stop it before choosing another sound if not mixing them. There is also a link to click and be taken to a blank writing page. (It may not be a white background though, but rather red, yellow, or green.) Click on the lines on the right side of the site to access the writing area. Click the arrow to SAVE your work. Use the music to inspire your writing.

tag(s): creative writing (166), learning styles (19), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use these background sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Why not listen to waves or water while studying it! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" create a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the writing tool available at this site to motivate your students with music, color, and more. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them overstimulating, while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Writing Reviser - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to ...more
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to use the features and how to revise your writing. You do have to join to be able to see anything beyond the general demo video. Once logged in, you can paste in an essay, explaining your intended audience and purpose. There is automated feedback about organization, style, and grammar. See statistics about your writing and discover things to improve and revise. You can delve into very specific aspects of your writing, such as verbs, pronouns, cliches, sentence variety, power sentences, and much more. The explanations are a little bit text-heavy, but they are very helpful. There is also free access to the Writing Planner and Writing Drafter from this tool. Explore the entire writing process at your fingertips!

tag(s): editing (61), process writing (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Give students the benefits of immediate feedback. Use this formative tool to help students focus on their purpose, audience, structure, and use of language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). Start with whole-group instruction by projecting the demo, and work on one strategy at a time. Suggest individual areas for each student or let each one decide on an area of personal writing "need." You might want to start with Sentence Power (verbs). Show students the "About" and how to change "was" to an active verb. Allow students time to work on their own sentence power before moving to the next revision strategy or letting them choose another. Once the students know the program, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll your students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. In 2014, SAS plans to develop a teacher "dashboard."

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Bringit - Lisa Bouchard and Charles Forcey

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets...more
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets for easy online access. (Those signing up do not need a Bringit account.) Add items, times, tasks, or whatever you need to your sign up sheet. Share the link using the URL or share through social networking links. Customize your sign up sheet to allow others to add information if desired. Two days before the date of the event, those who sign up will receive an automated reminder.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for your high school club or sports team to organize their own events.

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Zentation - Karl Siegert

Grades
5 to 12
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the...more
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the slides AND the video showing side by side. This presentation method can share the "live" presenter (from a video) and his/her slides together on the screen. Watch the demo to see what the results look like. After creating your account, choose New Presentation to begin. Provide a name and description. Click the Start under the Public column. (Premium Private provides additional paid options.) Copy/paste in the link to your prerecorded YouTube or Google video. Upload your PowerPoint from your computer or link to a SlideShare presentation and choose "Upload PPT." Once all uploads finish, use the sync option in your account to add descriptions and modify slide display time as needed to sync with the video. Use the share button to share your finished project via URL, embed into your blog, send through email, or create a link with thumbnail images. If your district blocks YouTube, you may not be able to use this tool at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (63), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations along with video of you narrating them (or other video) and upload them to Zentation. Zentation is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. It does use Flash, so iOS devices will not display the results. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Share with students for use to combine their own slides and video to create a more dynamic presentation. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Use Zentation as an excellent resource for creating and sharing review materials on your website. It would also be a great way to "flip" your classroom. Use the video area to include examples of a scientific process (found on YouTube) or even video of students themselves explaining student-created review or presentation slides in a format you can easily share and archive on a class web page or wiki. Anything you can put on video can go in the left video box! If you have students who are too shy to present in person, this would be a great way for them to record and combine slides with video of themselves. Teacher-librarians could record students doing booktalks alongside slides of images from the book or illustrations the students draw themselves.

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Zeemaps - Zee Source

Grades
4 to 12
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a ...more
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a title, description (optional), an admin password for others to collaborate, and a starting location to create your map. Add simple or detailed markers to your map. Input data from multiple formats: KML, CSV, Excel, and more. Add video, audio, and information to each of the markers. Markers can also be customized icons. Be sure to check out the menu options available such as Additions, where areas of the map can be highlighted and Annotations can be added to the markers. Share your map by URL or publish in a webpage.

tag(s): directions (20), map skills (79), maps (287)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Teach map skills by letting students explore and annotate their own community. This site is great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create multiple markers for various points within your community. Annotate the markers with specific information that students research. Remember to create an admin password (and save it somewhere safe!) for others to collaborate on the map. Research various places around the world, and create markers of must-see places, historical finds, and other locations of interest. Create a map of news hot spots around the world. In Biology, find places where environmental or biodiversity concerns are occurring. Collaborate on a map to include annotated information of student research about these problems. Create a map to introduce various cultures around the world. Enter video, audio, information, and links that students can use to "uncover" the content to be learned.

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Knowledge Adventure - Knowledge Adventure, Inc

Grades
K to 6
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Find educational activities to reinforce skills for preschool through elementary school students at Knowledge Adventure. Browse by grade, subject, or age. View a list of all games in...more
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Find educational activities to reinforce skills for preschool through elementary school students at Knowledge Adventure. Browse by grade, subject, or age. View a list of all games in alphabetical order. Choose any game then read the short instructions before playing. Explore activities to practice typing, sight words, counting, memory puzzles, logic, science, art, color, and more. Most of the activities at the site appear to have been created by Knowledge Adventures, but some were created by other sites and included here (such as JumpStart). The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), capitals (24), counting (119), keyboarding (38), logic (235), preK (281), puzzles (208), sight words (37), spelling (168), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Share (and have a student demonstrate) this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Create links to specific skill games on classroom computers for center time or indoor recess. There are some advertisements on the right side. Warn your students to avoid them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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My Study Life - Virblue

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification...more
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My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification reminders of upcoming events. Enroll through email, Facebook, or Google. Once enrolled, add course schedules to set up a schedule. After entering courses, add tasks with due dates or exam dates. All tasks and information displays on the homepage along with approaching due dates. My Study Life shows both tasks completed and unfinished.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Start the school year off by sharing this tool with students for planning homework assignments, tasks, and exam dates. Create an account to share with your learning support teacher and specialists to collaborate and know upcoming events in each other's classrooms. Share with parents as an option for student use. Use this site personally to keep yourself organized! If you have students aged 13 and up, encourage them to choose a consistent planning tool like this one to stay organized. Share this site with gifted secondary students to help them stay organized and manage their life. Promote organizational skills with your learning support or gifted learners.

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QwikSlides - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create quick and easy slides and presentations that are viewable on any device. The best part is that no email or registration (or special software) is required! Click the edit ...more
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Create quick and easy slides and presentations that are viewable on any device. The best part is that no email or registration (or special software) is required! Click the edit icon (pencil) to begin adding text. Each line of text will create a new slide. The more your add to a line, the smaller your text will be. Edit font and background options as desired. Add the URL of any image or video to embed directly into your slide presentation. When finished, click on the gear icon for the URL, embed code, or even a QR Code image!

tag(s): images (266), qr codes (21), slides (63), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use Qwikslide to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share slides with information or (online) images on your website or blog to remind students about a project or assignment. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning. Create a Qwikslide easily "on the fly" as a review resource to embed on your class website or blog. Use the QR Code feature to add information to textbooks, on student of the week displays, or to Science fair projects! Students can easily create mini-advertisements for books by entering their text here and sharing via a QR code pasted on the book jacket. This site is perfect for your BYOD (bring your own device) classroom, since it is viewable on any device. Make quick "cue cards" for students to read their lines off a projector or interactive whiteboard for a video or school news broadcast! Paste your school or class announcements into slides and embed them on the class or school website. Have your world language or ELL students write messages in their new language for a classroom "activity tour" and convert them into QR codes to post around the room. Their classmates can "tour" the room and follow the directions for each activity using their smartphones to read the codes. Activities could include speaking, following directions such as "touch your nose" or question/answer about an image.

Even the youngest gifted students can create simple presentations to go beyond regular curriculum in your class. Be sure to show young ones how to copy/paste the url for their finished work to send it to you or mark it in Favorites on the classroom computer or iPad. Have them make slide shows telling a story, explaining about a famous person, and more. During a unit on plants, have them create a guide to plant care or a show about the world's strangest plants. Have them write and illustrate slides as book reviews for independent reading they have done. This tool is simple enough for any student who can read.

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Joomag - Vahram Darbinyan

Grades
6 to 12
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Create your own digital magazines with Joomag's online editing and publishing features. Begin by signing up for an account using your email, Facebook, or Twitter account. Start adding...more
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Create your own digital magazines with Joomag's online editing and publishing features. Begin by signing up for an account using your email, Facebook, or Twitter account. Start adding content to blank pages or upload a PDF file from your computer for conversion into a magazine format. Use the editor to add images, text, video, and more to any page. When finished, share your magazine using the direct URL or with social networking links. Modify privacy settings to public viewing, anyone with the link, or to just those granted permission. Although Flash is used on portions of the site when creating a magazine, readers can view the magazine on any computer or mobile device (without Flash).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), graphic design (35), multimedia (56), writing (359)

In the Classroom

In social studies or government class have students design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats, create an ongoing Joomag magazine of class activities, and more. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. The possibilities with Joomag are endless!

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Wordsmyth - Wordsmyth

Grades
K to 12
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Keep the dictionary on the shelf and tap into the power of words with Wordsmyth, an online dictionary, thesaurus, and word reference tool. There are three "levels" of readers...more
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Keep the dictionary on the shelf and tap into the power of words with Wordsmyth, an online dictionary, thesaurus, and word reference tool. There are three "levels" of readers included at this site. WILD (Wordsmyth Illustrated Learner's Dictionary) is an online dictionary designed for K-3 early readers (or ESL/ELL students). Each entry includes a written definition with audio available. For older elementary students, try Word Explorer, containing words, synonyms, word mapping ideas, and more. You will also find images and animations for many topics including; the human body, the human mind, everyday life, history and culture, communication, living world, physical world, natural environment, economy, and government and law. The highest level (Comprehensive Dictionary-Thesaurus Suite) includes three reading levels and thousands of images to explore. It also offers definitions at three reading levels (great for differentiating). Outside of the three main references, there is much to explore. The search feature finds words with similar spelling. Use the anagram feature to help to form words with given letters in your Scrabble game. The Crossword Puzzle finds words using key words and the number of letters in a word. If you register (free version, but requires email) you can create and save up to 10 word activities with up to 12 words per activity. Quizmaker makes fill in the blank, matching, and multiple choice quizzes. Design customized glossary pages with the words you choose with your applicable definition. Add the widget to your toolbar, a floating widget, or embed on your school web page. Check the blog for the word of the day, new entries, games, and upcoming teachers' tools, and roots and affixes.
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tag(s): crosswords (18), dictionaries (56), preK (281), quizzes (96), spelling (168), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Capture your students with the power of words at all levels. Keep this link on your toolbar as a quick reference for easy access to improve reading comprehension and writing word variety. When starting a new content area unit, challenge your gifted students with advanced vocabulary words. In your school library, make this handy reference available for everyone as a bookmark and on your online reference page. In primary grades or with ELL students, bookmark the WILD section for easy access. Share vocabulary words with young students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the word of the day with your students at all levels and explore together. Create your own glossary page for up to 10 teaching units. Provide support for struggling readers or ESL/ELL students by showing them how to access and use this site. Encourage word games such as Scrabble, Upwords, or crossword puzzles, with Wordsmyth as a partner! Share this site on your class website for gifted students to explore at home (or in class) and find new challenging vocabulary to stretch their minds!

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VideoANT - Regents of the University of Minnesota

Grades
4 to 12
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VideoANT is an annotation tool for use with YouTube, Flash videos, mp4 and .mov formats. Create and share your annotated videos without ever leaving VideoANT. Launch VideoANT and sign...more
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VideoANT is an annotation tool for use with YouTube, Flash videos, mp4 and .mov formats. Create and share your annotated videos without ever leaving VideoANT. Launch VideoANT and sign in using Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. You may also sign in as a guest (email required). As a guest you will not have as many options for sharing your completed videos. Upload a video file or enter the url for a YouTube video. Browse your YouTube account uploads and choose a video to annotate. Begin and stop your video at any time to add a subject line and content. When finished, choose from sharing options using the link, embed code (not available for guest users), or export as various video file types. Privacy options include making ANTS (your annotated videos) public or private for only those with the link. Share using the annotate link to allow others to contribute to your video, or use the view link for viewing only. If your school blocks YouTube, these videos may not be viewable. Create and download your videos at home to bring them in to school "on a stick."

tag(s): media literacy (58), video (254)

In the Classroom

If you are lucky enough to have a (BYOD) Bring Your Own Device classroom, allow students to add comments as you watch videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the "Ant" link and have students add comments and questions to any YouTube video. This works for any subject. Identify examples of foreshadowing in dramatic videos. Add questions to math explanations. Identify landforms with videos from different locations. If you joined the site, use the embed code to add annotated videos to your class website or blog. Ask students to contribute comments directly onto the video. Share this site as a way to review before tests. Have media literacy students use the annotation feature to critique videos for bias, poor writing, weak information, etc.

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Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Read-Alouds for Gardens - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud offers a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities...more
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This read-aloud offers a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities to integrate curriculum and solve real-world problems. This read-aloud includes a wealth of excellent books--both fictional and informational-- for teaching topics such as the life cycle of plants, the scientific method, what plants need to thrive, ecosystems, food chains, soil science, and more as you plan and work on your garden (or simply imagine a virtual garden). There are numerous helpful resources and lesson plans included, along with some grant ideas to purchase materials for a garden. Connect with both Common Core and Next Gen science standards using gardens as an entry point. If food and nutrition are more of a focus, you will want to check out another article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): book lists (128), life cycles (25), plants (145), soil (17)

In the Classroom

This read-aloud is a good starting point for a unit on plants, ecosystems, or soil. What a perfect way to integrate spring garden planting, literacy, and a GROWING understanding of science. Mark it in your favorites for early spring and be sure to request some of the books on interlibrary loan if you do not have them in your school. Explore the lesson plan options or incorporate this with your existing lessons on plants. You might even consider working across grade levels and subjects and planning a school garden together. You health/PE teacher will probably join in the effort!

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Grow For It - North Carolina 4H

Grades
2 to 12
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Grow For It offers lessons and resources for exploring agriculture, natural resources, and insects! Download several different lessons correlated to Common Core and/or North...more
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Grow For It offers lessons and resources for exploring agriculture, natural resources, and insects! Download several different lessons correlated to Common Core and/or North Carolina Standards. Find teaching materials about gardening, insects, and soil erosion. Some lessons offer additional materials not included as part of teacher training, provided by 4H services. However, free materials include detailed lessons and activities worth exploring. Be sure to explore other links for grant opportunities, weekend projects, and a "Plant Geek Pledge."

tag(s): agriculture (55), ecosystems (88), erosion (17), insects (69), natural resources (59), plants (145), soil (17)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans included on the Grow For It site as part of a plant or nutrition unit. Share ideas from the site with parents interested in helping set up a school or classroom garden. Once you have started your garden, have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Ask a local 4H leader or Coop Extension Agent to come to your classroom to discuss local plants and gardening ideas.

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WordDraw - Free Word Newsletter Templates - worddraw.com

Grades
K to 12
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WordDraw offers a variety of newsletter and flyer templates designed for classroom use in Microsoft Word format. Scroll through the home page to find templates for each grade level,...more
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WordDraw offers a variety of newsletter and flyer templates designed for classroom use in Microsoft Word format. Scroll through the home page to find templates for each grade level, holidays, back to school, and more. To view all school templates choose the "School Templates" link at the very bottom of each page. Other options include Business and Family templates. Click any link to view a short description and larger image of the template. Choose "Template Download" to save directly to your computer. Modify any design after downloading by clicking in text boxes to add text or change text box properties. Modify the color, size, and font. Use templates on all versions of Microsoft Word 2000 and after. Don't have Word? Many of the templates can be saved to your computer (without opening) then uploaded to Google Docs/Drive (reviewed here) with the option set to CONVERT them to Google's format and used there. Note that most of the text is designed to go inside text boxes, so you have to double click the text box to edit the words.
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tag(s): back to school (58), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Download and save templates for use throughout the year. Use templates to create newsletters for your class. Customize any of the offerings to fit your personal needs and teaching situation. Share flyer templates with students (once they have basic computer and keyboarding skills) so they can use them in designing posters, flyers, and resumes. Be sure to demonstrate how to edit on a projector or interactive whiteboard if students are unfamiliar with text boxes.

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National Geographic Young Explorer! - National Geographic

Grades
K to 2
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Visit the online version of National Geographic Young Explorer! to find audio-enhanced editions of their magazine featuring text, audio readings, and illustrations. Simply click...more
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Visit the online version of National Geographic Young Explorer! to find audio-enhanced editions of their magazine featuring text, audio readings, and illustrations. Simply click to hear the words read to you. The oral reading is clear and somewhat slower than natural speech. It highlights each word as it is read. Browse through More Issues to view available stories dating back to 2007. There are teachers' guides available to help with the use of the articles. These interactive versions do not require Flash so can be used on iPads!

tag(s): audio books (32), guided reading (47), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Looking for some new ways to bring literacy into your science lessons? Are you implementing Common Core? Find accessible, informational texts (non-fiction) at this site. The teachers' guides have tons of information, worksheets for the students, and answer keys. The Teacher tab also includes downloadable Spanish versions of some issues as well as a Flash-based "projector" version of the issue to maximize screen size. Have your students compare information from the article to information from other sources, such as magazines, newspapers, or web pages or their own background knowledge. Have them ask or write a series of questions about the parts of the article where they would like to know more. Use this site in your BYOD classroom (with headsets or earbuds). View a story on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up a science/reading learning station using this website. Your ELL and learning support students will benefit from seeing and hearing the text at the same time. Set up a read-and-listen station in your library/media center too!

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DropTask - Think Productivity

Grades
4 to 12
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DropTask is a visual task management organizer for individuals and groups. Create tasks by dragging and dropping items, and assign priorities for completion. View tasks in List View...more
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DropTask is a visual task management organizer for individuals and groups. Create tasks by dragging and dropping items, and assign priorities for completion. View tasks in List View or a Venn Diagram style presentation. Share projects through email with friends, add files, and view changes in real-time. Short tutorials demonstrate how to start and create projects, add people to groups, and choose priorities for tasks. Sort tasks by priorities or due dates. Change settings to receive email notifications of upcoming tasks or completion dates. The FREE version includes collaboration for two members and up to five projects.
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tag(s): calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (198), graphic organizers (43), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use DropTask to schedule staff meetings, PTA events, Science or Math fairs, club or student council events, parent volunteer meetings, and more. Student groups of busy high schoolers may want to use it to schedule work sessions. This is a great tool for teams of teachers to stay on the same page! Secondary learning support and gifted teachers can share this tool with their less organized students. This program will help them develop coping/organizational skills, and they can set intermediate deadlines with reminders for long term projects.

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