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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 (22), writing (361)

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 (129)

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 (33), 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 (217), speech (91)

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 (277), digital storytelling (146)

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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Skype (in the classroom) - Shelly Terrell and Ozge Karaogul

Grades
K to 12
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Look to this site for great help and ideas in using Skype in the classroom. View videos, read articles about Skype in the classroom including studies, and other useful links. ...more
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Look to this site for great help and ideas in using Skype in the classroom. View videos, read articles about Skype in the classroom including studies, and other useful links. Click on "Finding classrooms to Skype" for great ideas and a list of teachers who have registered their interest in Skyping and sharing. Unfamiliar with Skype? Be sure to read more about this resource here.

tag(s): skype (12)

In the Classroom

Familiarize yourself with Skype and how to use the tool. Be sure to read information on this site and the review of Skype mentioned above. Add your name to the list of teachers who are willing to Skype into classrooms. Be sure to check your district policy on using this tool with your students. be sure to seek parent permission as well. Connect with the teacher to discuss objectives of the Skype visits. Be sure students understand what is considered acceptable and unacceptable use of this tool and reinforce consequences.

Possible Uses: 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 interactive 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. 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 at this site.

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Creative Writing Activities - Bruce Van Patter

Grades
1 to 6
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This site offers FREE creative writing activities for kids, teachers, and parents plus information on writing and inspiring creativity. Students will love the "What If Genie" who poses...more
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This site offers FREE creative writing activities for kids, teachers, and parents plus information on writing and inspiring creativity. Students will love the "What If Genie" who poses intriguing what if questions. The Wacky Headline Maker challenges students to fill in the details for enticing headlines. MugShots provides students with a great pre-writing task that helps with character development. Even the most reluctant writers will enjoy this great place to find writing ideas. Build creative flexibility and originality with the What If questions and increase elaboration skills with the Mug Shots activities. Want to know more about creativity skills? See TeachersFirst's Dimensions of Creativity.

tag(s): characterization (16), creative writing (166), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Using Mugshots, have students work in small groups to complete the writing activity. Have students put together information in a text document. Read each group's mugshot (without noting the authors to prevent biases) and vote on the one that offers the most creative and developed character. Highlight what made winning mugshots using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Continue using this process to encourage character development in student writing. Challenge students to create their stories into online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Whiteboard Resources - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 8
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Whiteboard Resources offers a variety of opportunities for teachers to use PBS Kids activities on an interactive whiteboard. The curriculum-rich activities include many skills such...more
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Whiteboard Resources offers a variety of opportunities for teachers to use PBS Kids activities on an interactive whiteboard. The curriculum-rich activities include many skills such as letter/sound recognition, listening skills, vocabulary, measurement, gravity, mass and much more.

In the Classroom

Students will enjoy working on these sites together as a whole-group activity. After modeling the activities as a whole group, allow students to work on the same activities in small groups during center time. Use as a reinforcement or enrichment with core curriculum lessons. You may want to provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Five Sentences - Five Sentences

Grades
K to 12
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale...more
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Use this exceedingly simple idea to manage your time handling email or to generate writing prompts that are meaningful in today's world. The site itself simply explains the rationale for limiting all email responses to five sentences, saving you time digging through the mailbox and increasing the likelihood that others will actually read your response.

tag(s): writing (361)

In the Classroom

Adopt this idea in your professional life as you correspond with parents (or suggest it to your administrator). Try adopting Five Sentences as your New Year's resolution. Though students today rarely USE email, share emails with them -- and the Five Sentences limit -- as writing prompts for a five sentence response to teach concise, purposeful writing and 'netiquette. (Note that this review, not including this aside, is 5 sentences!)

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Word Safari - Gum Leaf Games

Grades
1 to 5
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Word Safari is a game to help students practice spelling words. Letters fly through the jungle - catch the right letters and spell words! Students can input their own spelling ...more
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Word Safari is a game to help students practice spelling words. Letters fly through the jungle - catch the right letters and spell words! Students can input their own spelling list or use lists already in the game. Incorrect letter choices result in a strike, 3 strikes and you are out! This site will work well in classrooms that use multiple spelling lists each week.

tag(s): spelling (169)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut of this site on classroom computers and use as a center to practice weekly spelling words.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Anne Frank in the World - Utah Education Network

Grades
3 to 12
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Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 is an online critical thinking unit designed to use the story of a young girl as a catalyst to understand the themes of discrimination, ...more
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Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 is an online critical thinking unit designed to use the story of a young girl as a catalyst to understand the themes of discrimination, diversity, peace, and justice. It includes several worksheets, readings, images, lessons and objectives delineated for various grade levels, and exposes students to vocabulary and concepts related to the cruel realities that Anne and other victims of the Holocaust endured. What distinguishes this site from many of the others is the sensitivity to Anne's story from her viewpoint, which is invaluable because she was a teenager during the Nazi period and had many similar interests and concerns as today's teenagers.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), nazis (10), remembrance day (6), women (101), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the activities and resources on this site to help students connect global and individual events, and realize that a positive attitude is possible despite terrible misfortune. Use the online resources to help you select the topics, activities, and articles that center around the themes you want to emphasize as a preview or follow up to reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Let the students collect and save their information on a class set of computers, (groups of three students work well.) Work toward one or several of the suggested final products, such as creating a wall poster, collage, or mosaic by using one of the online tools reviewed by TeachersFirst. Have students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Challenge students to use Mosaic Maker reviewed here. You might want to start by having students brainstorm a list of past or present acts of discrimination of which they are aware. Develop their brainstorming list on an interactive whiteboard or projector using bubbl.us, reviewed here, and ask students to think about and associate feelings of the victims of these acts. How might those feelings look in graphic form? Have each student or groups of students choose one example from the list, along with a few words about the feelings that accompany the acts of discrimination, and select online images that reflect those emotions. When students express their feelings onto visual media, it helps them relate to what Anne did by writing in her diary. For more adventurous technology users, all individual or group work can be merged to create an online scrapbook that can be shared with the entire class and families, using Smilebox (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Curriculumbits - curriculumbits.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find great curriculum materials that would be perfect for students to use on standalone computers for individual students or for group and class work using an Interactive Whiteboard...more
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Find great curriculum materials that would be perfect for students to use on standalone computers for individual students or for group and class work using an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. View the "Featured Resources" section or search the variety of subjects listed in the "Subjects" area. View the "Online Resource Library" to find games, quizzes, animations, and videos in every subject area. Search using specific search terms as well. No registration is required to use materials.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Allow students to choose and use activities to enhance and improve their learning of classroom material. Here are a couple of examples of Whiteboard tools: Whiteboard quiz generator and Whiteboard quiz generator 2 team. Be sure to use resources where students are manipulating the interactives and using the resources for their learning. These resources are best used when they are student centered (student chosen and student run) instead of an activity the teacher performs for the class.
 
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Whiteboard quiz scorer - curriculumbits.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use this Interactive whiteboard screen to keep score of student teams right and wrong answers for whole class quiz games. Enter the names of the 4 teams. Quiz scorer does ...more
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Use this Interactive whiteboard screen to keep score of student teams right and wrong answers for whole class quiz games. Enter the names of the 4 teams. Quiz scorer does not load or retain any actual questions. Use the up and down arrows to add and remove points from teams in accordance to how you choose to quiz students. View the teacher notes for information on how to use.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use this site in ways to maximize student involvement. For example, assign the creation of quiz questions for units and chapters to the students. Use these questions for quizzing of the entire class. Reinvent your role in this process by not being the reader of the question. Instead, take the role of the judge panel needed to arbitrate when judgement calls are required. Provide the top student who has earned the right to skip quizzing to be the emcee. This job can also be rotated among all students (the role of the emcee could also be to explain why answers are right or wrong.) Be sure to have students reflect on correct and incorrect answers to identify misconceptions and correct knowledge.
 
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Comments

This will be great to use in the classroom prior to taking a quiz or test. Veronica, NC, Grades: 5 - 12

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Historypin - We Are What We Do

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older ...more
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older people to share their photos; these photos are then uploaded through Google maps to show the world as it once was. The older pictures can be compared to today's images through Google street view. In addition to uploading photos, stories can also be shared about the time period and the pictures. Historypin is still in Beta stage; however, there are plans for events throughout the world to launch the site in the near future.

tag(s): cultures (105), maps (289)

In the Classroom

Use as an enhancement to research projects of family, historic events, and world cultures by finding and uploading pictures to the map. Use Historypin as a resource to compare and contrast different time periods in the same geographic area. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector how different places have changed over time. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here) to go along with the maps. ESL students will appreciate the ability to upload pictures and/or learn about their country of original.
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