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My StoryMaker - The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Grades
1 to 4
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My StoryMaker lets student create story books. Students can add characters, backgrounds, objects, and animations. Every time a student puts in an emotion or action, the program will...more
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My StoryMaker lets student create story books. Students can add characters, backgrounds, objects, and animations. Every time a student puts in an emotion or action, the program will create the sentence for you. Students can also add their own text to the provided text. Stories can be printed out when done. You can't edit a story once it is done but it can be shared with others by entering the magic number that is provided. Stories are kept for one month. You can also download the story as a PDF.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Use this creative tool in your language arts class. Place the link on your class webpage and let students independently create stories. Using your interactive whiteboard or projector use the magic number and have students share their creations. Print out student stories, laminate them and place in your classroom library. This site is also a great way to teach students about adding details to a story. Teach about main character, setting, theme, plot, and more! Create a story with the class and model how adding details to a story makes it better.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Franny's Feet - pbskids.org

Grades
K to 3
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Introduce very young children to Science, English, and Math with this entertaining and interactive site from PBS. Watch an episode from Franny's Feet or change the background...more
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Introduce very young children to Science, English, and Math with this entertaining and interactive site from PBS. Watch an episode from Franny's Feet or change the background with a click of the mouse. Click shoebox adventures to choose your shoes and try a variety of activities depending upon the shoes picked. Choose Franny's words to complete word activities, music adventures, and more. Grandpa's globe teaches geography and explores faraway places. Find coloring pages, screen savers and wallpapers to download, and clips.

tag(s): animals (276), globe (14), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Print the coloring pages for use in your classes. Use the activities and tie in to concepts in class (matching, etc). Share this link on your class website for families to explore together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flickriver - flickriver.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use Flickriver as a new way to view photos from Flickr. Click the "Explore" tab to view recent pictures uploaded to flickr. Create your own flickriver stream and view all ...more
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Use Flickriver as a new way to view photos from Flickr. Click the "Explore" tab to view recent pictures uploaded to flickr. Create your own flickriver stream and view all photos from other flickriver streams by registering and creating a flickr login. Use the search bar at the top to customize search by users, groups, tags, or places.

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

In the Classroom

Users must be familiar with how to use Flickr reviewed here.

Create a class Flickr account to upload pictures of experiments, student projects, and items related to class content. Use Flickriver to pull these pictures in to view by the class. Use pictures to represent Math concepts, poems and stories, science concepts in the real world, or items belonging to cultures. Create a flickriver of art projects to display to the world. If students are allowed individual accounts, they could use this as a way to share their portfolios of artwork or digital images.

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Reading in the Content Areas - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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TeachersFirst offers a collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area....more
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TeachersFirst offers a collection of web resources well suited to teach reading in the content areas, especially in science and social studies classes, but in almost ANY subject area. See ideas and strategies for teaching reading across the curriculum and find texts to use on the computer, in print, or in interactive whiteboard/projector. Sometimes using web-based texts can be more engaging, and often these are more up-to-date in content.

tag(s): context clues (8), main idea (9), reading comprehension (116), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Mark this collection as a MUST have for teaching reading to students struggling to apply more than decoding skills. Pay special attention to some of the "In the classroom" tips for unexpected ways to use these sites to teach reading along with other subjects.

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Vocabulary Development - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students using daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary...more
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This collection of tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students using daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary (special ed), and ESL/ELL language.

tag(s): vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Browse this collection when you have students who seem to need extra vocabulary reinforcement or choose one or two tools to use repeatedly each time you introduce new terms. Share specific links or the entire collection for students to find "what works" to help them master vocabulary before the test. Mark this collection in your favorites to have differentiation strategies at your fingertips.

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How Stuff Works - Howstuffworks, Inc.

Grades
4 to 8
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Find answers to the most curious questions that students ask on this great site. Search the site for your topic of interest such as how cars work, what makes a ...more
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Find answers to the most curious questions that students ask on this great site. Search the site for your topic of interest such as how cars work, what makes a refrigerator cold, or how construction has changed and the materials that are used. Articles provides diagrams, text, videos, images, and a range of other resources to show a curious student what makes something tick. The site's explanations are a great resource for "kitchen science" projects, for getting budding inventors started, or for providing added explanations of how things work the way they do. Click on the topics in the blue top panel for the various subjects such as Adventure, Animals, and Autos through Money, Science, and Tech. Can't find your answer? Ask under the "Keep Asking" section and it may become the question of the week. Sign up for the monthly newsletter. Search the other areas of the site such as "Games," "Quizzes," and "Pics and Puzzles." Find great podcasts and blogs and be sure to check out the "Random Zone." Find images, lists, and raqndom facts here. Scroll to the bottom to find fun facts, trivia, and even a poll of the day! Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it.

In the Classroom

Use this site as an "activator" to introduce a new science unit or lesson on a projector. It could also be a great way to introduce informational speeches/videos and how to write them. The videos on earth and life science topics provide a great launch pad for further class discussions. Participate in the poll of the day. Use the trivia and facts section for interesting ways to get kids thinking in class. Use this site for students to "show and tell" something they have learned. Use the information presented here to better understand how science is applied in our everyday lives. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation, video or podcast, article, or blog post from the information they learn there. Have students create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class.

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Online-Calculator - Online-calculator.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific ...more
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific or BMI calculator. There is also a stopwatch tool available. If you speak a language other than English, simply click to change to the language of your choice - it's that easy.

Be aware: this site does include advertisements.

tag(s): latin (22)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool, beyond the obvious ones for math class. Bookmark this site on your own computer for projection on an interactive whiteboard and make the link available on your class web page for students to access from individual computers. You can shrink the calculator window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard to use as needed. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. The stopwatch tool can be useful for any in-class, timed assignment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MindMeister - MeisterLabs GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free ...more
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free mind maps. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. There are many highly interactive features: printing, sharing (emailing), and collaborating with others in "real time."

tag(s): brainstorming (23), DAT device agnostic tool (198), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Realize that you can only make 3 maps for free, but you can always delete old ones to make room. Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate you desire your organizer to be (don't miss the notes feature!). A handy revision "history" helps you see what changes were made when. See the blog for helpful video tutorials and tips. Note: to use the "real time" collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Note that maps that are "published" can be seen by the public (read only, so they cannot be altered). If a map is shared via a URL, only those that were "invited" to view the map will be able to see it. However, this does require each viewer to sign up (free) to MindMeister to be able to view this map. You can specify members who may collaborate and make alterations to a map that is not "published." You can also invite other members to view (but not change) unpublished maps.

The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, you can assign students in cooperative groups to create a mind map as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Board800 - TechnoTablet

Grades
K to 12
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Use Board800 to make whiteboard drawings, graphic organizers, or other collaborative works in a simple online space that can be shared with others in real time. Use the unique session...more
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Use Board800 to make whiteboard drawings, graphic organizers, or other collaborative works in a simple online space that can be shared with others in real time. Use the unique session number to share via email with others or provide the code for others to enter to join using their computer. Boards last 90 days. Tools include freehand drawing, basic shapes, text tools, and inserting an image. Find hints and tips along the side of the board. Drag and resize elements of the board.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), drawing (77)

In the Classroom

Access to past boards is available only for 90 days. Simply click SAVE IMAGE to save as a .png image on your desktop. Users will find the interface simple and easy to use. Be sure to save the session number or the image of the final board for sharing on a wiki, blog, or site for continued collaboration in class.

Once shared, any whiteboard session can be seen and altered by others who know the URL. There is no record of who makes changes, so student-to-student "vandalism" is possible. Be sure students are aware of the task for the group and class rules for this behavior are known. Do not insert student drawings on wikis, blogs, or sites unless this is within school policies.

Assess prior knowledge as you start a unit by generating a class board. Save it under your class/teacher account to re-access throughout the unit, adding new topics and content. Make the URL available from your class web page for students to use as review or for learning support teachers to reinforce what has happened in class. Have student groups map out the content of projects. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Have students create review organizers or drag and drop activities to share with classmates. Brainstorm together over time or distance by letting students add ideas from home or collaborating from another school. Save your visual notes from a faculty meeting to reopen next time. Allow students to use a board as their visual during speeches. Map the sequence of steps in a chemical reaction or in the solution of a math problem. Then share the URL for absent students to "see" what happened in class. Annotate design principles directly on top of an uploaded image or have students submit their own analysis of an image by sending you the URL for their board. Have young students use a board to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. Use group boards for collaborating on any kind of work or think-pair-share types of activities. This tool has endless possibilities!

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The National Writing Project - James Gray

Grades
1 to 12
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At The National Writing Project(NWP)you will find all sorts of ideas, advice, and resources to help you help your students to become better writers. This is a jewel of a ...more
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At The National Writing Project(NWP)you will find all sorts of ideas, advice, and resources to help you help your students to become better writers. This is a jewel of a website that is dedicated to promoting writing and teachers who are working to help students become successful writers and learners. This reviewer read an article about teachers using photos as prompts for writing. Within the article were several resources and ideas that can be used immediately. This is a massive site with lots of information. Take your time and go through it. You do not have to join the site to read or search for articles and resources. However, if you do join, you'll have the option to sign up for events, participate in discussion forums, receive E-Voice, the NWP's bi-monthly email newsletter that provides news updates, links to articles of interest to writing teachers, and other information about the NWP community.

tag(s): essays (21), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Every time you visit the NWP site you'll learn something new or find a new idea or resource. For instance, did you know that the second annual National Day on Writing is October 20, 2010? At the NWP site you'll find lots of ideas and resources for contributing to the National Day on Writing. Since this site updates articles and resources fairly often it would be best to bookmark your favorites using a social bookmarking tool such as Diigo reviewed here. Using a tool like Diigo will also allow you to share sites and resources with other teachers and students, too.

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Story Snoops - Four Moms

Grades
2 to 12
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Find down-to-earth book reviews of popular children's books. Input a favorite topic, author, title, or genre to find a book meeting your interests. Use the browse feature to get a ...more
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Find down-to-earth book reviews of popular children's books. Input a favorite topic, author, title, or genre to find a book meeting your interests. Use the browse feature to get a taste of what books the site has reviewed. Under the Featured Books section, can see book covers and a short summary of newly added titles. A popup next to each book cover shows the appropriate reading age, genre, title, and author. Clicking further leads to a longer summary, list of key words for the book, the scoop (comments from the point of view of a parent), and links to other books with the same key words. A quick find feature lets you input just one item like a theme or genre to come up with a list of books to enjoy. What a fabulous tool for reluctant readers, or anyone who likes to find "the right book."

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Show this site to your students on your projector and/or interactive whiteboard so they can search for independent reading books to suit their interests. You may even want to have them practice writing book reviews of their own following the style of the summaries here. Share the book reviews on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Talk with students about what they think their parents might say about their selected books, similar to the slant given in the story scoops. Provide a link to this site on your class webpage for students to find books both in and out of the classroom.

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Semicolon Wars - Mr Nussbaum

Grades
3 to 12
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This humorous interactive challenges students to place punctuation correctly into sentences. Semicolons have been abused for years and now they are fighting back! Head over to Punctuation...more
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This humorous interactive challenges students to place punctuation correctly into sentences. Semicolons have been abused for years and now they are fighting back! Head over to Punctuation Island to help semicolons fight the abuse they have suffered from periods, commas and colons. Place punctuation correctly into sentences to win this game and print your Semicolon Supreme Ruler certificate.

Be aware: at the time of this review, the Play Now button was not working. To play, simply click on the picture of Punctuation Island.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Try this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Print out sentences for students to complete, then check together on the interactive whiteboard. Use as review before a quiz on semicolons. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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YoLink - TigerLogic Corp.

Grades
4 to 12
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Go beyond a normal search with YoLink. YoLink looks into pages and documents for context based searching. One click tools seamlessly edit and use the content in a new document. ...more
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Go beyond a normal search with YoLink. YoLink looks into pages and documents for context based searching. One click tools seamlessly edit and use the content in a new document. Use the desktop application or the browser plug in. Add a search widget to your blog or site. The desktop application requires Windows. Browser plug-ins can be used with Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer on Windows or Mac. Use the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the YoLink site to search your term. View the search results not only by a title and link, but also excerpts of paragraphs with the search term highlighted. Click on the excerpt to be taken to the exact spot on the website where it is found! No more scanning page(s.) Click to check the box next to the excerpt, and choose from options in the upper left to star, share (with a social network,) or save (to Google Docs.) Others can use the search tool right from the box at top right to "see into" their search results with new tools.

tag(s): note taking (32), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Familiarize yourself with the specifics of YoLink by viewing the information on the front page.

Be sure to teach copyright (for material instantly copied to a Google doc) and how to use good keywords to search when using this tool. Students may find comparing results of YoLink with those of Google, Wolfram Alpha, Yahoo, and other popular search engines very productive. Compare the findings on an interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss not only the usefulness of the search results but also how different words in the search query can bring different results.

Use this site as you discuss how to search and use materials on the web. Practice showing different searches and aspects of the searches that are useful. Challenge students to use these sites for individual research projects. Use YoLink to find specific information about a curriculum topic and use the search results to begin discussion of the concepts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Paper.li - Smallrivers

Grades
K to 12
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Missing great twitter conversations? Follow a user, list, or topic hashtag with this great tool that compiles Twitter posts into an easy to read format. Paper.li takes the tweets and...more
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Missing great twitter conversations? Follow a user, list, or topic hashtag with this great tool that compiles Twitter posts into an easy to read format. Paper.li takes the tweets and creates a newspaper style format to read from. Sign in using your facebook or twitter account. View the paper which takes tweets you search and separates them into various subjects. Current tweets in your topic appear as they occur. Read more about the various educator hashtags you may want to subscribe to on TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Keep track of trending topics for your students or for yourself. Keep up to date professionally by following several education hashtags such as #edchat. Links posted using the hashtag appear in your "newspaper" and can be viewed at any time. Share your daily newspaper with others by clicking on "Promote it" or "Share." You do not need to ever send a "tweet" to read and learn.Teachers at any level can see what their teaching peers have to say. Secondary teachers can share the latest on a political topic, disaster, or other hot news story by creating a "newspaper" about it for students to investigate. You can even "embed" the newspaper on your class web page or wiki.

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Grammar and Words - British Council

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource...more
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource for those hard-to-grasp grammatical rules and structures. Complete with a quick reference section and explanations, Grammar and Words provides a number of options for practicing grammar and usage. This could also be very useful in an elementary class just being introduced to these concepts of grammar.

tag(s): grammar (216), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource to supplement your grammar lessons and as another approach to those "foreign" grammar terms, like clauses and phrases that students find difficult to wrap their heads around. Some of the activities are even appropriate for the upper elementary grades. Make a shortcut to an activity on your classroom computer by RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page and choosing the option to Create shortcut, to give yourself a quick, easy way to open an introduction or review of the grammar you expect students to be familiar with, and project it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not provide this link on your class website for students to access at home?

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Learning Games for Kids

Grades
K to 6
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Learning Games has a large selection of games divided into easy to find categories. Topics include typing, music, history, science, health and more. For example, in the Social Studies...more
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Learning Games has a large selection of games divided into easy to find categories. Topics include typing, music, history, science, health and more. For example, in the Social Studies category there are games to learn U.S. presidents and women in history. Each game includes an explanation of game rules. There is even a category with education songs and videos that includes Science songs!

tag(s): keyboarding (38)

In the Classroom

Include this site for your computer center time. Challenge students to post the highest score on the math games. Use the keyboarding practice games to help students learn proper keyboard placement of fingers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Online - New Zealand Ministry of Education

Grades
K to 12
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section ...more
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section on how our teaching impacts learning. This site was created and is based and maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education; however its uses are internationally sound and practical. Whether you are searching for language and literature resources, teacher exchange of ideas, assessment tools and processes, strategies, or sequential units and models, you will find all of the offerings to be plentiful. The website is also available in various language dialects of New Zealand.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site in your favorites for when you are planning objectives and learning activities, searching for materials, or looking for fresh, reliable ideas. No matter where you are on the career ladder, this site provides a storehouse of quality digital content from early childhood through senior year and beyond, which you can embed and blend into your existing program, use to support learning across the curriculum, download, print, project on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or have students use individually or collaboratively on individual computers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jigsaw Classroom - Elliot Aronson

Grades
2 to 12
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms...more
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms into groups of 5 or 6 students and appoint one as the leader to direct and report on the group's activities. Teachers divide the day's learning into as many groups as there are in their classrooms. Students read their parts. Groups may exchange expert learners to report on what is going on in other groups. Back in the original groups, each group reports on its part and students have some type of evaluative activity, like a quiz or other summary activity.

In the Classroom

Have the students prepare a quick online presentation of their findings, results, summaries etc. Have each student or each group prepare one or two quiz questions to share with the entire class. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Balance your group selection by ensuring each group has strong and weaker students, girls and boys, students from different ethnic groups or nationalities, etc. Use this activity also as a way to review before tests. Have students present their findings in a multimedia presentation. Why not have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Edupic Graphical Resource - William Vann

Grades
K to 12
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This large variety of drawings and photographs is a great resource for K-12 students and teachers. Either choose from drawings or photographs related to science, social studies, math,...more
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This large variety of drawings and photographs is a great resource for K-12 students and teachers. Either choose from drawings or photographs related to science, social studies, math, and language arts. These images will support classroom instruction, presentations, multimedia projects, websites, or reports. Useful tags will help you search for images. Educational use of Edpic images is free of charge.

tag(s): animals (276), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Create classroom lessons that are interactive and visual. The images on Edupic are useful for creating interactive whiteboard lessons such as sequencing the life cycle of a frog, labeling the phases of cell mitosis, or adding the dots on a the back of a ladybug. Visual representations will help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. Use imagery to enhance multimedia posters on Glogster EDU, reviewed here, create digital stories, or bring a PowerPoint presentation to life.

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Skype for educators - Marie Rush

Grades
K to 12
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Excited about Skype and looking for others to connect with? Find a list of educators who are looking for others to connect with. Add your name to this list as ...more
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Excited about Skype and looking for others to connect with? Find a list of educators who are looking for others to connect with. Add your name to this list as well and be sure to contact those who are of similar grade levels or topics. Be sure to read more about Skype here.

tag(s): skype (12)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check school policies and obtain parent permission before using Skype in the classroom. Discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior and the consequences. Anything you can do by telephone or video call you can do on a projector with your entire class. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites.) Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom

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