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Rhymes.net - STANDS4 LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rhymes.net is a simple site that offers words that rhyme with whatever you enter in the search field. Indicated in the rhyming word are syllables for ease of use, and ...more
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Rhymes.net is a simple site that offers words that rhyme with whatever you enter in the search field. Indicated in the rhyming word are syllables for ease of use, and there is a set of photos for words searched. Choose from the dropdown box to translate the word into several languages from Arab through Turkish. Listen to the word by clicking on the speaker icon next to your word. The right sidebar lists popular nursery rhymes. Click to show the text of the rhyme.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nursery rhymes (18), poetry (227), preK (279), rhymes (33)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to share during your poetry unit as a resource for rhyming words. Create a list of student-generated rhyming words before using this site to discover words missed. Challenge students to use lesser-known words found through the site. Share with your school's music teacher to use when writing songs with students. Have students create rhyming word clouds using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Hang printed word clouds on the classroom walls during poetry units so students see many choices or share them on a class wiki.

Use the text of nursery rhymes to create class interactive books using Bookemon reviewed here, or make student-illustrated "big books" using PowerPoint to create and print. (Copyright is NOT an issue for this public domain text.)

In world language classes, share a translated nursery rhyme each day as a challenge for students to decipher and guess the "real" nursery classic

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Think - Cathy Sheafor

Grades
K to 8
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, ...more
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, or create a one man band, then this site is for you. Find links to other creative thinking blogs, too. Promote 21st century design thinking and innovation with activities that look like pure "fun." The sidebar include links to many engineering sites and activities to connect creativity as an important aspect of design and science. Don't miss the sidebar tips to parents and teachers, as well.

tag(s): creativity (109), critical thinking (108)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create a "think outside of the box" space in your classroom. Keep the area stocked with materials and activity sheets. Use the area as a place for students to go when they finish up work. Better yet, make design thinking part of your science curriculum by tying in some of these challenges with curriculum topics such as gravity, forces, materials, and more. Set one Friday a month aside as "think outside of the box" day, and use the activities from the site. Send home an activity as extra credit homework and create a museum of student's creations. Make this link available on your class web page for parents to access during school breaks or snow days.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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About.Me - Tony Conrad, Ryan Freitas, Tim Young

Grades
6 to 12
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Promote yourself for college or future jobs by creating your own "me portfolio" website. No matter your age or stage in life, in today's world you are what Google shows ...more
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Promote yourself for college or future jobs by creating your own "me portfolio" website. No matter your age or stage in life, in today's world you are what Google shows about you. Take control of your online presence to show your chosen audience what YOU want them to know. You are more than your FaceBook persona or Linked In profile. About.Me allows you to create a "hub" with links to your online projects you want visitors to see. Upload a photo, write a short piece about your interests, then link to your online content and social networks. There is also an Assets page where you can download the About.Me logo and colors to add to other pages and projects you have on the web so visitors will link back to the hub and discover your other projects. Before creating your About.Me website, you might want to read about "branding" yourself on the Student Branding Blog reviewed here. The information on the Branding Blog applies to any adult, too. The Terms of Use for About.Me prohibits creating fictitious personas.

tag(s): college (43), internet safety (108), portfolios (28), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Counselors and teachers could work together to have high school students make About.Me the place they use as a "branding" home for themselves online. Start by making your own About.me page to mange your own professional presence and use as an example. Suggest to students that they use a "me portfolio" on About.Me for college apps, employment apps, etc. You might want to have students look at the "branding" suggestions from the Student Branding Blog before creating their page. Using About.Me is also the perfect opportunity to talk with students about their online presence and how outsiders might interpret what they decide to post on About.Me or any social network. Along with that discussion you'll want to review Internet safety and privacy. Consider using Internet Safety: Rules of the Road for Kids reviewed here. If you teach gifted students (13+) who are working beyond your regular curriculum, start by having them create a real world presence using About.Me, with parent permission of course. Use this space for them to publish links to their best work, especially projects that take on a life of their own long after the assignment ends. Have a student interested in international politics? Maybe STEM cell research? Have the share the class project that got the started along with essays about where they see themselves in ten years or portfolios of their related accomplishments, including those outside of school. This portfolio site is not something to "pile up" with everything. It is for them to present their best face to the public. Encourage them to take ownership of it.

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Lalo.li - Franz Enzenhofer

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle ...more
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Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle and turn to change the quality. Copy and paste the URL to share your audio message or use links to share via social networking such as Facebook and Twitter. Here is a sample . At the time of this review, the site only worked using Firefox or Chrome.

tag(s): text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

This would be great for ESL/ELL learners; have them type a short sentence and listen to the playback to verify that the sentence is correct. It would also be a great practice for beginning readers. Use your interactive whiteboard and have the class tell a very brief story or say a sentence. After typing the sentence into the program, user a pointer for each word as the synthesizer reads it, or have students take turns pointing out the words. Share tonight's homework on your class web page as a link to an audio reminder simply by typing or pasting in the assignment and copying the link to place it on your web page.

Comments

When I tried to use it with Safari on a new Mac in 10.7, it said I needed to use only Firefox or Chrome Too bad.

Note from the editorial staff: thank you for your comment. We have added this information to the review.
Constance, RI, Grades: 0 - 12

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Interactive.I - interactive.illimitably.com

Grades
K to 12
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a ...more
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a font style for chat, name your room, and designate if participants can chat, draw, or both. Once in the room, share the url with all participants. Chat appears below the drawing and not in the drawing itself and does not show when you share or save the final product. Options are available for activities such as a drawing challenge and newspaper. Be aware that the newspaper may offer options such as gay marriage or other topics you may not want to address with your students. Save drawings to your computer or online. Avoid the public gallery where drawings may not be classroom appropriate.

tag(s): drawing (78)

In the Classroom

You can avoid the public galleries entirely by creating the space for your students to use. It takes only seconds, and they can join directly by url. Have students collaborate on the creation of story webs or classroom presentations. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Allow students to use this site as their visual during speeches. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. If you know an artist, cartoonist or illustrator, invite him/her to visit your classroom virtually to share his/her drawing process while you class uses the chat to ask questions.

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Animated Shakespeare - Cambio

Grades
6 to 12
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Cliffs Notes Films brings its study guides of the greatest classics to life in a more entertaining, interactive, and relatable format for today's generation. The first six films are...more
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Cliffs Notes Films brings its study guides of the greatest classics to life in a more entertaining, interactive, and relatable format for today's generation. The first six films are interactive, irreverent pop-cultural mash-ups of the most popular Shakespeare classics like Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Narrated by "Cliff," a bookish super-hero-cum-narrator who guides the audience through each tome. Click on characters to learn more about the basic plots, themes, and characters.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hamlet (13), julius caesar (7), macbeth (11), midsummer nights dream (5), othello (6), romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

It is always a challenge to get students to read actual literature texts instead of the "easier" versions. Share Animated Shakespeare on your classroom whiteboard or as a link on your website for student use at home. View these short films before reading the real Shakespeare in class to motivate student interest. Challenge them to find things in the real play that the animated synopsis left out, especially subtleties. View again at the end of reading; stop the video before clicking on characters and places and have students provide important details of the plot or about the characters before moving on. Challenge students to create a talking avatar for a character in the play they are reading. Have them use a photo or other image (legally reproducible). Have students use the avatars to describe another character or event from the play. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).

Interested in "Flipping" your classroom? Post the URL for the video you want your students to view at home. Show students the page under the film where they can read about the characters and themes and take a little quiz. Ask them to come in the next day with questions they have about the story.

After perusing a video and the accompanying materials on Animated Shakespeare, have your students read and view the same play on Schmoop's Picture This reviewed here. Have a discussion about the differences between the two. Then ask students to write a compare/contrast response to the two different presentations of the same story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Instant Classroom Seating Chart - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
This free site makes classroom management easier by letting you create a seating chart easily. There is also a Random Name Generator and a Classroom Group Maker. You can create ...more
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This free site makes classroom management easier by letting you create a seating chart easily. There is also a Random Name Generator and a Classroom Group Maker. You can create many groups with up to 100 students in each group.

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Use this site at the beginning of the year to create a seating chart for your classroom. Use the drag and drop technology to configure the desks the way you want them. Use the Random Name Generator to choose a student for an activity or to answer a question. If you need to create groups of 2, 3 or more, use the Classroom Group Maker to automatically split your class into even groups.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Easel.ly

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts),...more
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts), or start from a blank canvas. Drag and drop other needed elements or upload graphics to create your own. Enter your text and data to create your own Infographic, displaying and sharing information. Find all the needed elements and prompts along the top navigation bar. This site takes the challenge of using design principles out of the creation of an Infographic. Click Save and you will be prompted to join if you have not already. Once logged in and saved, the prompts will tell you to return to your home page (leaving the "creator" area) to choose settings for your finished infographic. You can choose public or private, share by link, download, or delete.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (42), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Use a whole class account if you are working with students under 13 or if school policies prohibit student accounts. Experiment with Easel.ly on a projector or interactive whiteboard (let the students do it!) using different design "themes," making changes without having to configure the whole Infographic. After creating Infographics as a class, review the other types to show basic design principles. Students can create Infographics of a classroom topic, relationships and definitions of major terms, information from labs, and more. Find data and information that connects your content to the outside world, such as the statistics and causes for endangered species. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand any curriculum content and connect it with the real world. For example, show the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have students explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Learn about food groups (now displayed as myplate) by dissecting a food, diary, or a typical school lunch in terms of meeting daily requirements (and other nutrition topics).

If your use literature circles in your classroom, making an Infographic about a novel the group read would be a great conclusion for the lit circle project, and it might entice others in the class to read the novel. Post the infographics on your web page for all your students and their parents to enjoy.

To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the tough issues or "flipsides" related to your curriculum topic: Major court cases and issues involving freedom of speech (during your Constuitution unit), risks and benefits of nuclear power (in a physics class), how an author's experience influences what he/she writes, lead-ups to a current events crisis, etc.

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Procon - Procon.org

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 2  Comments
  
Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education,...more
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Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education, Media & Entertainment, Sports, Science & Technology, among others. Issues can include Abortion, Euthanasia, Climate Change, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Health Care Reform, Obesity, and the Death Penalty, just to name a few. Read the information on each issue in a Pro and Con format along with background information, and included video clips. Some topics are controversial, so adults using this site with young people may want to go directly to a single issue rather than having them browse openly.

tag(s): climate change (64), critical thinking (108), debate (41), persuasive writing (55), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Using controversial topics that have more than one side is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving. Find issues on this site that relate to your curriculum and use them as an entry point for a new unit. Use the teaching resources found under the Teacher's Corner. Use this site to teach how to distinguish facts from opinions, using information to write essays or create speeches, or hold a class debate. Help students develop flexibility in their thinking by having them argue a side they do NOT agree with. Focus on critical thinking with your students to develop skills needed for life. Use as a whole class activity or for individual students to find an issue of interest to them. Gifted students often think deeply on such issues at an early age and will find these topics of great interest. Use this site to guide a deliberate discussion or debate.

Comments

I also love this site, but I don't see any advertising on there at all. The site is free. Not sure how they stay afloat but I'm glad they do. For me, it is better than Opposing Viewpoints database for its depth, ease of use, and lack of registration/passwords. I use it for student debates on current events, and my wife (an English teacher) uses it for persuasive essays and role play debates. , , Grades: 0 - 12
I've used this and it's great! Balanced, has good resources. Helps students see both sides of an issue. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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EasyBib Lesson Plans - Imagine Easy Solutions, LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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EasyBib lesson plans bring information literacy for teachers into the digital age. Find information about search engines, source requirements, backwards outline, credibility analysis,...more
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EasyBib lesson plans bring information literacy for teachers into the digital age. Find information about search engines, source requirements, backwards outline, credibility analysis, flash research and cross subject research papers. Develop note taking skills with Diigo, notebook exercises, and source scavenger hunts. All lesson plans are based on Common Core standards and vary in grade levels. Help bring the latest emerging technologies into your curriculum in all content areas.

tag(s): citations (34), media literacy (58), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Teaching students note taking and research skills is the job of every academic teacher. Use EasyBib lessons to develop current strategies for note taking, searches, and source information. After expanding your own knowledge, bring this into core content areas to add to the development of your Common Core curriculum. These useful lessons are easily adaptable for your needs. Follow the blog to find additional timely information.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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iSL Collective - Adam and Peter Laszlo

Grades
1 to 12
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Bookmark this site for fast help with curricular needs with ESL/ELL students. From maps, to grammar, to writing activities, to reading and vocabulary assists, this site offers whatever...more
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Bookmark this site for fast help with curricular needs with ESL/ELL students. From maps, to grammar, to writing activities, to reading and vocabulary assists, this site offers whatever you might need. These ESL/ELL teachers have created it all! It offers materials at seven English competency levels for five distinctive types of language learners. You can also share your best materials here.

tag(s): alphabet (92), grammar (216), paragraph writing (17), pronunciation (44), vocabulary development (126), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Check back often to see new materials available here, listed under "Newest" or "ESL Worksheets of the Day."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cue Flash - cueflash.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to ...more
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This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to use. Use the tag cloud or subject list to find existing flashcard sets.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and one more time as a final review. This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words used in science terms or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Clicking on Discussion Group in the upper right corner to start a discussion thread about a flashcard to extend learning. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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Less is More: Making Your Presentations Zen-tastic! - Kim Cofino

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources...more
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This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources and suggestions. It is definitely worth a look before preparing classroom or professional presentations using PowerPoint, Prezi (reviewed here) or another presentation tool.

tag(s): media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

Share this article with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector before they begin preparing projects for presentation. Use information from the site for your own information when preparing presentations for the classroom or professionally.

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The Successful Web Reader - Neal Bastek-Content Developer-Colorado State

Grades
7 to 12
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we ...more
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we read on the Web for a variety of reasons. Whether it is to surf and browse for information, or to interact with people and texts around the world, the criteria for success is dependent upon skills and strategies that experienced online readers use as an approach to reading digital/electronic text. Find out how to take advantage of the functionality of your browser and make the most out of your visits to the Web with the helpful suggestions you will find on this site.

tag(s): reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44)

In the Classroom

Reading is a cross curricular activity. Every teacher, not only English, language arts, and reading teachers, should teach or review these strategies with students before asking them to find information and read on the Web. The Successful Web Reader provides teacher and student-friendly, practical tips and information to aid "critical linking" and path following, effective scanning, avoiding distractions, and how to get the most out of a quick visit. Bookmark this website in your favorites. Choose from the many links of helpful information to project on your whiteboard at opportune times.

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Book Report Makeover - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Here you will find a plethora of ideas for students to report about the books they've read. Watch your students' appetite for reading soar with this collection of creative book ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ideas for students to report about the books they've read. Watch your students' appetite for reading soar with this collection of creative book report ideas, complete with instructions. From edible book reports to video projects, there is something to spark everyone's interest and keep them engaged.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), critical thinking (108), writing (358)

In the Classroom

The variety of ideas will keep readers thinking in new ways about what they read. How about having them create a quiz to go along with their class novel to demonstrate what they have learned? TeachersFirst can make that easy for you with Easy Test Maker reviewed here. Perhaps your students fancy transforming parts of their book into online comic strips. TeachersFirst has that covered for you too with Make Beliefs Comics reviewed here.

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The Legacy Project - Susan V. Bosak

Grades
3 to 12
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The Legacy Project is a big picture learning project for adults, youth, and children. There are three categories to the program where you develop your legacy: personal, interpersonal,...more
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The Legacy Project is a big picture learning project for adults, youth, and children. There are three categories to the program where you develop your legacy: personal, interpersonal, and community. Explore your connection with others in your life and create closer relationships between generations. Find out how you can help make a better world by addressing issues like building stronger communities and caring for the environment. The Legacy Project was inspired by the award-winning bestseller, Dream, and is a content rich site that explores all aspects of the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and our world. You can identify and reach for your goals to make a difference in your own life and our world.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (35), crafts (40), cross cultural understanding (115), environment (317), writing (358)

In the Classroom

The Legacy Project's free online activities for all ages include creative crafts, art projects, games, self-assessments, reproducible pages, and even lesson ideas with curriculum connections for teachers. There are also free guides, tips, and feature articles. Resources can be used individually or grouped to create a themed set that run the gammit from literacy to family, history, or science. There are even free online certificates you can download!

Challenge your students to think about questions like: What are your goals and what would you like to be, do, and learn? How can you achieve your goals? What can you learn about your own hopes and dreams and those of others? How can you think globally and act locally? How can we better understand other people and cultures that live in our communities or a whole continent away from us? The Legacy Project combines practical, classroom-tested ideas and research-based insights with a little fun and inspiration to inform and inspire all ages - children, teens, and adults. Using resources like the Dream book, students explore the world around them and their role in it - past, present, and future.

The Legacy Project's annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest brings generations in family and community closer and promotes the importance and uniqueness of inter-generational relationships. Students between the ages of 8-18 years interview a grandparent or "grand-friend" about their life and write an essay. This also opens the door for so many creative projects such as photo essays, (using their own digital images or finding ones that are legally permitted to be reproduced). Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Newtools Powered by Aardvark - John Davitt

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the ...more
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Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the Magna Carta meant in a series of 5 photographs," or "do metamorphosis as a blues song." There are 2,500 of these ideas, and you will have to scroll through them until you find the one you like. All the learning events use the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, synthesis (now called "creating"). This page is just the beginning! You will also find idea generators for geography and homework! Build creative flexibility and orginality with these prompts.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), flexibility (5), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Set up Newtools on a classroom computer. Make this one of several writing prompt options for blogs or other open-ended assignments. Allow students who finish work early or who need a journal idea to scroll through and try to find an idea that you have studied in class. Write several of these on your interactive whiteboard and then have students choose which one they would like to work on. Once all the projects are complete, rotate the students around the room to share with classmates who worked on a different project. Use this site to challenge gifted students to produce a higher level project. Some of the projects suggest using video or another presentation format. Be sure to check TeachersFirst Edge Presentation tools here to find one that is just right.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spreaker - Spreaker Online Radio

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google ...more
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google +, Soundcloud, Twitter, or add to the Spreaker website. Follow others, or invite others to follow your podcasts. With a click of a button you are creating a live podcast. To create a podcast you do not need Flash. However, there are several tutorials, and these tutorials require flash. There is a free version and a more deluxe premium version. This review is for the free version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (52), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Enjoy a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a New Book or Book Review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website. Publish directions to projects, explanations for difficult concepts, or even a radio show of you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or to aid with running records or even include writing. Be sure do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories! Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your foreign language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL, special education classes can often benefit from the extra explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless! The site itself is a "web 2.0," social networking style site, so some schools may have it blocked. Ask about unblocking just YOUR teacher account so you can have students access it while at school and under your supervision.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rolls off the Tongue - Anderson and Andy

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Enjoy a cartoon and an opportunity to guess what idiom it represents. Click on one of five buttons for more information including a hint, the answer, the definition, a ...more
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Enjoy a cartoon and an opportunity to guess what idiom it represents. Click on one of five buttons for more information including a hint, the answer, the definition, a note on usage, the origin of the idiom, and a sentence using the idiom. The site is in blog format, so for more examples and activities with idioms, viewers just scroll down to see more. There is also a game featuring multiple choice guesses to reinforce usage of the idiom. New idioms are added regularly. SInce this is a blog, there are comments and other social features, such as clicking to "Like" a post. Public interactions appear in comments, so monitor before projecting or sharing.

tag(s): figurative language (16), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

Have your students make their own cartoons of idioms they encounter following the example of the idioms drawn here. They can draw and scan them in or use one of the reviewed comics tools here. Have students post their work to a wiki or to Class Blog, reviewed here. Students studying other languages can create similar pages using idiomatic expressions of their target language. This is a great link to include on class web page. The explanations of the origin of the idiom might be a bit difficult for ESL/ELL students to grasp.

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