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MixedInk - MixedInk, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these...more
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these tips tips to accomplish this. Mixed Ink is a general site for all kinds of writers, but this review directs you to the educator area. You can use MixedInk for any writing assignments, debates, speeches, student council proposals, editorials, and whatever else you can think of. All of MixedInk authorships are tracked automatically and color-coded. Students can comment on submissions and rate different versions to identify the best. There are at least two demo videos, and these can be embedded on your website for student reference. This program uses Java.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), six traits of writing (8), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Remember the fun activity where students are given a sentence starter and told to write the introduction to the story, students then pass their part of the story to someone else, and the next person writes the next part of the story? Well, MixedInk is this fun activity on steroids! It is so powerful! You can assign your students to write about anything and they can collaborate together, on something as serious as an inquiry project.

If you are using the Six Traits writing program, reviewed here and here this is the perfect place for your students to put their writing and get feedback. Students can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color coded so you will know what has been contributed and what is original.

If you work with a few gifted students in ANY subject and want them to push their ideas beyond the basics, set up a separate class in Mixed Ink (even if the students are not actually IN the same class). Include gifted students from different classes you and other teachers have -- or even students from other schools if you know their teachers. Challenge them to collaborate on higher level thinking questions, writing challenges that require more research to support their arguments, or real world problems such as convincing a legislator to support a new bill. Have them use Mixed Ink to collaborate on their draft and argue among themselves about the best support for their thesis. For a more creative option, have them write a continuing "story" with each student contributing the next episode-- perhaps using terms and concepts your classes are studying. Imagine them composing "A Month in the Life of a Flea" during your study of insects. Of course, they will need to have email addresses to register, and you will want parent permission for online interactions with students outside you own classroom.

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Getting to Know You Ideas from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
18 Favorites 1  Comments
 
TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community. ...more
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TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community.

In the Classroom

Try these activities from TeachersFirst to help you and your students get to know each other early in the school year or for a "fresh start" for a new semester or move-in students.

Comments

I love the ideas and activities for helping students get to know each other early on in the new school year. In the Headstart program we focus on parent involvement and I like to do activities that involve the parents and help them to get to know each other as well. The classroom and education experience is so much more successful when everyone is working together: children , families, and teachers. Teresa, FL, Grades: 0 - 1

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Drop It To Me - JAJAdesign

Grades
6 to 12
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DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so...more
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DropItToMe is a nifty tool that complements DropBox (reviewed here). It allows you to create a secure email address that is password protected so that anyone you provide with this information can send you files. The files go to your Dropbox account. This is bigger and better than regular email. DropItToMe can accommodate files that are too large to be sent through regular email. This can also help when you may not be able to access email accounts because of filtering software and firewalls. Dropittome makes the need for access to email for sending documents obsolete. Note: Some schools block Dropbox, so check first!

tag(s): homework (44)

In the Classroom

This tool would be mighty handy for online assignments and anything that is completed digitally. Best of all, as the teacher you can set up one email account, share the password with all of your students, and they can send you files. They never need to access anything but this website. This is extremely handy for those who are conducting or pushing towards paperless classrooms.

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Digital Play - Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley

Grades
2 to 12
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all...more
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all grouped together with the lesson plans. Many of the activities are in game format. To get an overall view of the lesson plans, go to the top menu bar, and click on "Quick Scan." Lesson plans are divided by ability levels, and target language skills to be learned are included in the brief description there.

Please preview before sharing specific portions of this site with students, as some are designed for older students and may include a more violent tone than you would want to use with elementary students. Content changes frequently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Lessons on Digital Play could be quickly adapted for use in any foreign language class. You can receive updates on new lessons added from many networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. These lessons could also be adapted to the primary classroom to help develop sentence fluency.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Spy - Paul McFedries

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This word definition site offers the very latest terms, hip language, and slang. Words like "daycation" and "post-Potter" are here before they make it to a dictionary; some will never...more
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This word definition site offers the very latest terms, hip language, and slang. Words like "daycation" and "post-Potter" are here before they make it to a dictionary; some will never be in a standard reference, but when they come up in modern parlance, they are here. By clicking on "more information," you can find the word's earliest usage and date. You are also able to comment on the words. The information also features related words and vocabulary categories. You can also search by category.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), slang (15), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a great find for gifted students, those working to advance their vocabulary levels, and for ESL/ELL students who may be puzzled by rapidly changing idiomatic language around them. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for future reference. When teaching word study, such as roots and affixes, include this site to show how new words evolve and that language is a living thing. Perhaps even share a word a day from this site for students to guess the definition.

During a study of dictionary skills, discuss with students how new words might come to be in the dictionary. Have small groups of students brainstorm slang words they've heard around school and their neighborhoods. Once they have their list, they can look these words up on Word Spy. For any word that isn't there, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here as a page that could be included in Word Spy.

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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (21), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads,...more
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, secretaries, school custodians, librarians, and more. Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care.

tag(s): fathers day (12), mothers day (13), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care. Share this collection as a link from your class web page for students and parents to use from home or during vacations and holidays.

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TeachersFirst's Summer Sparklers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on...more
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This collection of editors' choices from TeachersFirst will spark summer excitement for parents and kids alike. Whether your want to create something, ignite new learning, or hold on to what you already know, you will savor these safe, reviewer-recommended resources. Be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and family. Teachers will want to share this page with students departing for summer break. Summer will never be "boring" again!

tag(s): enrichment (13), summer (12)

In the Classroom

Share the link to this special collection via your class web page, newsletter, or email to all your students as they depart for vacation. You will help parents and students alike. Avoid the "summer slide."

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Edmodo - Edmodo

Grades
7 to 12
11 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library...more
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Edmodo is a complete, online environment for classroom management, learning, and more. Use Edmodo for sharing content, accessing homework, grades, and announcements. Create a library to store your assignments, quizzes, and units. Post assignment reminders, quizzes (automatically graded), build an event calendar, and post messages to groups as well. Create multiple classes and have students join via the class code. Then, you can create small groups from your class rosters on Edmodo. Designed specifically for education, teachers can create a network for their classes where members can quickly respond to each other. Use the Snapshot feature to align quizzes with Common Core Standards. Gamify your class, if you'd like, using their badges or importing your own. Use the parent sign up to keep them in the loop. Find other educators and groups to connect with and follow your interests. Use Edmodo from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. YouTube hosts all support and training videos for how to implement Edmodo. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (100), blogs (88), classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199), game based learning (103), gamification (65), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

View a screencast demo of using Edmodo here. Before using with a class, create a master administrator and also create two to three "fake students" to practice using Edmodo for a few weeks. Use this suggestion not only to understand how to use Edmodo but to also determine how it will be used in the classroom. Allow students to register by using your group code. 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.

Use this service for class scribes to detail what has been learned that day. In Math, instruct scribes to discuss how to solve a problem. Better yet, allow students the opportunity to discuss how they solve specific problems to identify more than one manner of solving. During class presentations, use Edmodo to provide feedback to the presenter. During videos, students can maintain backchannel discussions in order to recap events, ask for clarification, or carry on meaningful discussion of the content. Use to create stories one line at a time with collaboration from the whole class. Ask questions from the days work to identify which concepts are causing problems with students and need to be reinforced. Post assignments in Edmodo. Students can access assignments and ask questions for clarification. Discuss environmental, health, or other social issues to identify other viewpoints and concerns. Still need more ideas? Check the Edmodo blog.

Comments

Edmodo is a terrific resource for communicating with teachers and students. It's Facebook-like interface is familiar and inviting for users. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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Fun Photo Box - FunPhotoBox

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create amazing photo effects, animations, magazine covers, and more with this free site. Choose the effect, upload a picture, and save to your computer for use anywhere. Ads appear...more
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Create amazing photo effects, animations, magazine covers, and more with this free site. Choose the effect, upload a picture, and save to your computer for use anywhere. Ads appear throughout this site. Be sure to warn students to only use the tabs along the top and choose the photo effects under each tab.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to find and upload a photo on their computer or find the direct URL of an image on the Internet. Younger students would need a lot of assistance navigating this site. Adjust the picture using the easy to use tools (experiment to master them). Once the effect has been applied, you need to know where you are saving the picture and how to give it a meaningful file name to be found later. Be sure to check district policy about using student pictures, though the web site does not "keep" them. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures that students use. Use these fun photo effects for creating interesting pictures for About Me information on blog and other sites. Use for pictures of lab events in science. These pictures can be incorporated into presentations or other multimedia products using online tools or PowerPoint. Students can dress as a historical figure, take and upload a picture, and use in classroom projects. Have students narrate their creative images using Thinklink, reviewed here.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Linkbunch - Aalaap Ghag

Grades
K to 12
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Wishing to share a large number of links with others? Use Linkbunch by pasting in the address of the websites you wish to share. Click the Bunch button when done. ...more
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Wishing to share a large number of links with others? Use Linkbunch by pasting in the address of the websites you wish to share. Click the Bunch button when done. Instantly receive a short URL that you can share with others. When opened, all the URL's are live links that lead straight to the sites you are sharing. Share via twitter, email, or text.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use this service to easily share multiple links at one time with others, especially younger students who have trouble with typing! Save class time by making "bunches" for different projects or topics. Use this as a professional resource to share with colleagues. Use this site to share lists of links with students and parents related to units of study, current events, and more.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kizoa - Kizoa

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With...more
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Create animated slide shows from uploaded pictures or those on Facebook. Use this free online image suite to store and organize photos. Edit photos using a variety of effects. With this easy to use uploader, store photos in your own online library. An excellent idea for backup of photos or to share photos with friends by sharing a link. Create slideshows from your library of photos. Add effects and pieces of music to enhance your photo slideshow. Use the online software to send links to friends. Use the embed code to add to blogs, wikis, or sites in order to share the content. With the paid premium version, burn your slideshows to DVD.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63), video (253)

In the Classroom

Users must have knowledge of finding and uploading photos as well as navigating this easy to use site. Take time to play a little with this site and learn about all the functions and effects.

Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.

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Quiz Busters - Teachers Direct Recruitment Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Find existing plenary quizzes or create your own quickly using this great site. Students play as teams and full instructions are included with each game. Search through a variety of...more
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Find existing plenary quizzes or create your own quickly using this great site. Students play as teams and full instructions are included with each game. Search through a variety of subject areas and topics to find a quiz appropriate for your class. To make a new game, enter your questions and answers. Twenty questions with key-word answers are needed for each game. Check the database to avoid creating duplicated games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

This quiz would be fantastic on an interactive whiteboard either with a whole class collaborating to earn the optimum (group) grade or small groups of students manipulating the interactive whiteboard themselves. Use as a formative assessment throughout the learning experience, providing more fun than simple question and answer. Use for SAT and other review.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition - Ambient Design

Grades
3 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art...more
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Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art materials. You and your students can paint with thinned oils, use wet or dry markers, soften the pencil and control the hardness of the crayon, and much more. Scroll down the page to find the FREE 2.6 Starter download instead of the 30 day free trial of ArtRage 3.0.

tag(s): graphic design (35), photography (160)

In the Classroom

ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition can be downloaded and installed on machines running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later. Check with your IT department or administrator for download and installation approval and help (if needed). ONly the need to download and install pushes this tool to the "Edge."

The ArtRage 2.6 interface is simple and intuitive, with large icons which clearly identify tools and options. While the program has a user guide and the website offers a quick start tutorial plus several technique-specific tutorials, fifteen minutes of clicking on icons, exploring the menus and playing with tools will give you a good start creating works of art. Teachers and students who are familiar with standard paint programs included in Windows and Mac machines will quickly grasp the basics and enjoy exploring the artistic possibilities of ArtRage 2.6. The program supports English, French or German language labels on tools and menus.

Be sure to ask student "experts" to demonstrate the ArtRAge tools on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use ArtRage 2.6 to create illustrations, drawings and paintings for storybooks, book reviews and author posters in English or language arts activities. Math and science concepts can be explained through illustrative drawings, such as a diagram of a flower's parts or the steps in oxidation. Make visual representations of mathematical operations or concepts such as fractions. Have ELL or foreign language students import images into ArtRage 2.6, trace and color them to create unique vocabulary cards and posters illustrating new words. Recognize and celebrate your students by importing their digital photos and applying textures and effects to create special birthday cards, awards, bulletin board pictures, and desktop signs. Share students' curriculum-related digital art projects on your class web page, blogs, or wiki (with parent permission) as well as your bulletin board. There are no safety concerns with this program because it is locally installed and does not involve interaction with the "general public" or social networking.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Dimensions of Creativity: A Model to Analyze Student Projects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These pages, sparked by a presentation by TeachersFirst's own Candace Hackett Shively, provide a way to plan and conduct curriculum projects to build creativity skills along with curriculum...more
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These pages, sparked by a presentation by TeachersFirst's own Candace Hackett Shively, provide a way to plan and conduct curriculum projects to build creativity skills along with curriculum concepts. Using the lens of Guilford's model of divergent thinking: fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration (FFOE for short), teachers and students have a shared vocabulary and specific creativity skills to evaluate and develop. Find specific ways to differentiate for varied student creativity skills while creating curriculum projects using free web 2.0 tools. The pages include the "Prezi" visual presentation from ISTE 2010 about this model (no audio, just the visuals). These pages provide explanations and, most importantly, practical ways to look at the projects that teachers plan and the products that students produce so they can continue to build FFOE skills as part of any grade level or curriculum. Customizable rubrics make implementation easier at any grade level.

tag(s): creativity (109)

In the Classroom

Do more than simply tell your students to "be creative." Try the ideas and practical suggestions on these pages if you ask: How do I help students who struggle with "being creative" in project-based learning? How do I differentiate tools/projects to match students' varied creativity skills? How do I know that more "creative" students are moving forward, challenging their creative thinking and not simply using past "tried and true" ideas, wrapped in a little glitz? How do my students and I talk about the creativity skills they used (or did not use) in making a project?

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Writing with Writers - Scholastic Inc.

Grades
1 to 10
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This student activity page provides information and step-by-step guidance for several different kinds of writing. Writing is difficult to teach and some of the ideas here are creative...more
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This student activity page provides information and step-by-step guidance for several different kinds of writing. Writing is difficult to teach and some of the ideas here are creative and motivating for kids. Learn about myth writing, descriptive writing, news writing, writing book reviews, biographies, mysteries, poetry and more! Divided into teacher resources, student activities, books and authors, and "connect" (a section that enables you to interact with other teachers/classes of students), this site has some nifty nuggets that are quite useful, depending on what you want to teach. While registering is free and allows you to interact with others in their registered group, you do not have to register to take advantage of most of what the site offers.

tag(s): authors (120), folktales (65), mysteries (25), news (261), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

With short articles and encouragement from authors that students have read (such as Virginia Hamilton, Jane Yolen, and Jean Lowry Nixon), you can easily encourage students to write anything from mystery to myth. Use your class blog to share student writing in a moderated space, if your school policies permit.
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Comments

This Scholastic writing site, including writing mysteries, and writing with authors. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Threaded Adventures - Kevin Hodgson

Grades
4 to 12
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A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can ...more
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A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can take and how to create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories online. This is perfect for those looking to integrate technology into their writing curriculum. Not only will you find directions to help you and your students create Threaded Adventures; the explanation of how to do this IS a Threaded Adventure, and you will find sample Threaded Adventures written by students. Threaded Adventures also inspire "predicting" as a reader, an essential reading strategy!

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Click on the links to read about how your students can create a Threaded Adventure. The author of the Threaded Adventure suggests the use of a wiki to have your students create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" because wikis are easy of use for the students. If you are unfamiliar with wikis, see TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Wikis can be private or public. Just be sure you have parent permission to publish student work online. If you use wikispaces, your students will not have to have an email account to join your wiki.

Have your students choose a favorite short story or picture book your class has already read. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to reread the story stopping and asking students what direction the story could take if the author hadn't finished the story, or suggest some "what ifs" yourself. Use Gliffy, an online graphic organizer reviewed here, to brainstorm with your class all the different paths the story could take. Once you and the class have decided on several different paths, go to your wiki and demonstrate how to create the "Threaded Adventure" using links to different pages. When your students understand the procedure, have small groups finish writing up the Threaded Adventure themselves. Once they've completed the class Threaded Adventure, they can use a story of their own to repeat the process.

For older students, you may want to go through the process above, and then have them put their story, or parts of their story, on MixedInk reviewed here to get ideas for story branches from their classmates. They could then use Gliffy reviewed here to organize the paths of their story. Once they've made final decisions about the different directions their story will take, they would then publish it on the wiki.

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iCyte Education - ICYTE

Grades
7 to 12
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This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of ...more
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This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of readings, or anything one can highlight on the Internet. Once installed, this program has two icons that are located on the toolbar of the browser. Simply two buttons, the first is to save citations, and the second button is to view saved parts of websites. This tool allows you to create projects and store citations by project groups. This would be great for students working on research projects and other similar types of papers. Note that this review directs you to the free educator area of iCyte.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Students could easily install this on their own computers to use during research projects. Teachers could use this to save parts of websites for different classes. Use this tool as an "idea bin" (whole class or individual) throughout a unit before students even start the culminating project. They can collect clips, sites, etc. that interest them about the unit topic so they have raw materials to choose from for the upcoming project. Demonstrate how to use the tool using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You must be able to follow onscreen instructions and locate icons on their toolbar. The only possible issue with this program is that the user must have administrative access to the computers to complete installation.

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Imgur - Imgur

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click...more
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Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click the upload button or enter the URL of the image from the Internet (obtainable by right clicking the online image and selecting "properties" or "Get info"). No need to register for an account. Uploaded images are private and only the person who uploaded has the URL of the image. Use the simple editing options to be sure the image fits in the blog, wiki, or site you are using it on. File upload is limited to 2 MB. Use a direct link or embed code to share your uploaded image wherever you need.

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

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to quickly upload and share images. Create albums where individual photos can be titled or captioned. Have students categorize photos and describe them. Use for any project, class explanation of concepts, experiments, or demonstrations. Share pictures of class happenings, speakers, field trips, and other opportunities you would want to share.

Users must be able to find a suitable image for upload from their computer or the Internet. Follow the very simple directions to manipulate the image. Since no registration is necessary, Imgur is easy and safe to use. Be aware that relying on services such as these can be a problem if the site no longer exists in the future. Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
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