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21 Bad Ways to Start Your School Year - Jill Hare

Grades
K to 12
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. ...more
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. This quick slide show reminds us to put down social media in the classroom, dress appropriately, and to get to know students before dumping big assignments on them. Although the information is common knowledge, the information has relevant reminders for both new and returning teachers. Most topics also include a related article link to find more information.
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tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (18), professional development (133)

In the Classroom

Share this slide show with student teachers as a reminder on appropriate professional behavior. Use the slide show as a tongue in cheek reminder to senior staff members when preparing for back to school. Instead of presenting 21 bad ways to start the school year, turn this slide show around with 21 good ways to start the school year. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here) to create your presentation. You may want to view this yourself for some friendly reminders. Why not challenge you students to create their own "21 Ways to start the year off right"?

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101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class - Joyce Povlacs Lunde

Grades
K to 12
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time ...more
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time to change the mood of your classroom! This list provides many suggestions for getting off to a great start. Although created for college teachers, most content is appropriate for all grade levels. Scroll through each section to find ideas for transitioning to a new grade level, keeping students' attention, providing support, building community, and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla" it is packed full of wonderful "sprinkles" to start your year off great!

tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (18), professional development (133)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site during back to school staff meetings to motivate teachers as they begin a new year. Share it with your student teacher before he.she gets started. Challenge yourself and other department members to check off as many items on the list as you can. Keep this list up on your computer as a reminder through the day. Revisit this site each year as a reminder of starting each school year on the right foot! Why not bookmark this site (or save in your favorites), so it is easy to find each year.

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The Square of Life - The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering

Grades
1 to 12
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning...more
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning is terrific. Once you choose your square meter, document and record data of all the living and nonliving things within your square. While sharing findings look for similarities. This project takes place multiple times a year. The guide offers lesson plans, extension activities, and worksheets. Also find assessment ideas, standards, and information for urban teachers. After creating an account, submit data, view data, and participate in the discussion area. Resources include student galleries, reference materials, ask an expert, project leader, and more. Some past student contributions are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (318), scientific method (67)

In the Classroom

Bring a heightened awareness to your local and global environmental education. In lower elementary grades, do the project together as a class. Teach scientific observation using a hands-on project. You could also include this as part of a civics or government class discussing the environment and public policy. This well-defined project is ready made for you. Integrate observations, documentation, measurements, deeper inspection, and ways to identify living and nonliving materials. Take photographs and record written accounts. Create presentations in PowerPoint, Prezi, reviewed here, Google presentations, reviewed here, or other presentation tools to draw in language arts standards. Expand the project to each student's backyard. Are any squares in your school or local area severely damaged environments? Brainstorm with students to find a way to change them back to their original state.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Start.me - Arjen Robijn

Grades
K to 12
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Create a customized start page including your favorite websites, RSS feeds, and social networking sites with Start.me. Choose from over 20 widgets such as bookmarks, weather, calculators,...more
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Create a customized start page including your favorite websites, RSS feeds, and social networking sites with Start.me. Choose from over 20 widgets such as bookmarks, weather, calculators, or currency converters to personalize content. Drag and drop widgets to any area on your screen. Change backgrounds using images provided or one you upload, or personalize using other options under settings. All saved information is cloud-based, so it is available from any device where you log into your account. Create multiple pages for different needs such as work, home, hobbies, etc. Add the bookmarklet to your browser to add items easily to your start page at any time. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, view the intro video at home to learn more!

tag(s): bookmarks (64)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom Start.me with frequently used websites and resources for classroom computers. Add pages for specific subjects or topics such as math and science, or for curriculum topics like explorers. If you work with students in several different grade levels or subjects, Start.me is the perfect organization tool for your online resources. Share login information with students for access at home and school. Students working on a group project could put the resources they find on Start.me so everyone in the group can access them. Encourage your gifted students to use this tool to curate and collect resources for extensions of the curriculum beyond the classroom, such as articles and connections with real world applications of science or resources about current events. World language teachers can collect a home page filled with cultural sites and publications in the new language so students can immerse themselves.

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Dropr - dropr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or...more
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. Follow prompts to connect your Dropr account to several social networking options. Follow instructions to personalize your page using files from your computer or connected social networking sites. When finished, easily share your portfolio with the link, embed code, or share buttons.

tag(s): careers (136), portfolios (32)

In the Classroom

Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Reel Surfer - ReelSurfer.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find, clip, and share portions of online videos using Reel Surfer. Note that this site relies on ONLINE videos, so you may not be able to use it if your ...more
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Find, clip, and share portions of online videos using Reel Surfer. Note that this site relies on ONLINE videos, so you may not be able to use it if your school blocks services such as YouTube. Enter a keyword to search or an actual video URL to begin. Drag the stop and start markers to set the video length. Share with friends via Facebook Twitter, email, and more! No video clipping experience is necessary. Even timid technology users will find this site easy to use. Create your own "reel" using multiple videos. Create a free account to save and share videos. Reel Surfer also includes a bookmarklet to add to your browser to easily clip videos from many sites.
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tag(s): video (275)

In the Classroom

Create a "reel" video for review or introduction on any topic. Use the best clips or segments from YouTube and other online sources. Grab the attention of your younger students with a brief video--without having fast forward to find the right spot! Have older students curate and create "reels" to share as part of any presentation project or for review. After watching any video, have student groups create a "reel" video with what they consider to be the most important parts of the video. Share completed videos on your class webpage for use at home.

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Discovering Ancient Egypt - Mark Millmore

Grades
4 to 9
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Explore Ancient Egypt! Choose from topics on the left such as hieroglyphs, pyramids and temples, or kings and queens. Each topic includes descriptions, maps, videos, and more to take...more
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Explore Ancient Egypt! Choose from topics on the left such as hieroglyphs, pyramids and temples, or kings and queens. Each topic includes descriptions, maps, videos, and more to take an in-depth look. Be sure to check out the cool hieroglyphic typewriter for typing names and sending or printing secret messages! The videos from this site are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): egypt (70), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

The videos and information from this site would be useful during any unit on Ancient Egypt. Math teachers will also love the information about Egyptian numbers to include in a unit on different number systems. Share videos on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create messages using the hieroglyphic typewriter then print (or screenshot) for others to decode. Have students create timelines using information from this site (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles reviewed here.

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Artyfactory - Artyfactory.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Learn to draw, paint, or design following step-by-step tutorials from Artyfactory. Discover basic techniques of drawing and painting through Still Life lessons. Practice perspective,...more
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Learn to draw, paint, or design following step-by-step tutorials from Artyfactory. Discover basic techniques of drawing and painting through Still Life lessons. Practice perspective, proportions, drawing animals and portraits, and more. Artyfactory's slideshows are an engaging way to increase your knowledge of art, art appreciation, and design.
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tag(s): africa (179), art history (72), artists (76), bulletin boards (17), design (83), egypt (70), perspective (11)

In the Classroom

In the art classroom, find ways to add technology to instruction using your projector or interactive whiteboard and demonstrating different techniques found on Artyfactory. For project based learning in any class, share this tool as a resource to add visual impact to students' research projects. Social studies teachers can include lessons about making African masks during units about that continent. Include Egyptian Hieroglyphic Alphabet, Cartouche, and Gods during a unit on the Egyptians. Science (or geometry) teachers will want to explore the lessons on visual patterns in nature as a way to capture the interest of your visual learners. Use these tutorials to integrate visual arts into any topic. Encourage your artistically inclined students to explore on their own. Explore this site before a trip to an art museum or to find inspiration for a display or culminating project in any teaching unit. You may even find some bulletin board ideas for your classroom!

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Musicovery - Vincent Castaignet and Frederic Vavrille

Grades
K to 12
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm....more
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm. Narrow choices by different genres such as pop, soundtracks, world music, and more. A song list starts playing once you selected the mood. Create an account to save favorites for use later.
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tag(s): creative writing (170), learning styles (20), sounds (70)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students and parents looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Note that songs with words will probably distract, so you may want to stick to classical or other instrumental options. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use calming sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" choose a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. If you have "silent reading" time in your class or school, calm music will help students to focus. As you talk with students about discovering their learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support and autistic support teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students.
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The Free Dictionary - Farlex, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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The Free Dictionary is much more than a dictionary; it also includes a thesaurus, encyclopedias, a literature reference library, and lots more! Browse the home page to find Word of...more
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The Free Dictionary is much more than a dictionary; it also includes a thesaurus, encyclopedias, a literature reference library, and lots more! Browse the home page to find Word of the Day, Article of the Day, In the News, Quotations, Today's Birthday and Holiday, and Hangman. Choose the Spelling Bee to test spelling skills in levels. Your ESL/ELL students can discover and "play" with English words using this site. Browse to find dictionaries for many other languages and specialized needs such as medical and legal dictionaries.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), quotations (24), thesaurus (24), vocabulary development (124), word choice (27)

In the Classroom

Set this site as the home page on classroom computers for students to read and find interesting articles and games. Create an account to customize the page to display information to suit class needs. Use information found on this site for quotes, interesting trivia, and much more. Display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and discuss articles and information with your class.

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Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits - Reagan Tunstall

Grades
K to 3
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This blog offers practical teaching tips and suggestions for early elementary classrooms. Although the author teaches first grade, most ideas are practical for use in other grade levels....more
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This blog offers practical teaching tips and suggestions for early elementary classrooms. Although the author teaches first grade, most ideas are practical for use in other grade levels. Browse through ideas for setting up Guided Math groups, using iPads in the elementary classroom, and other specific suggestions and images. To find earlier posts scroll down the page and look on the right-hand side. View trending past posts or labels. Choose a label to see posts with topics such as math tubs, journals, or word work.
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tag(s): classroom management (148), posters (39), professional development (133)

In the Classroom

Sign up and receive email updates for new posts on the blog or join using Google Friend Connect. Share ideas from the blog with other teachers and use images for inspiration in your classroom. Print and use free resources from the site such as posters, and labels for journals and notebooks.

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PicGhost - Nermien Barakat and Amr ElGarhy

Grades
K to 12
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PicGhost is a batch image editor that does all work online without any software downloads. Drag and drop (or select) up to 40 images from your computer or import images ...more
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PicGhost is a batch image editor that does all work online without any software downloads. Drag and drop (or select) up to 40 images from your computer or import images from Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa for each batch edit. Once files upload, start editing to resize, add watermarks, add effects, and more. When finished, apply edits and download the finished image to your computer. This is a very handy way to resize a group of images at once! Add watermarks to your own photos so others will not use them without permission.

tag(s): editing (68), images (275), photography (162)

In the Classroom

Use PicGhost anytime photos need to be edited on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, use this tool to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process together with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector, and edit the project together! Encourage older students to use this tool themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use PicGhost to edit pictures to look "old" when doing historical reports or to set a mood.

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Connected Classrooms Field Trips - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your class on virtual field trips through using Google hangouts, and, of course, Google. Participate in live events by signing up for upcoming field trips. Most trips include activities...more
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Take your class on virtual field trips through using Google hangouts, and, of course, Google. Participate in live events by signing up for upcoming field trips. Most trips include activities for students as well as opportunities for question and answer sessions. If you missed an event, no problem. Simply click the link to previous field trips to view at your convenience. Previous field trips have included visits to the San Diego Zoo, The White House Christmas decorations, and Ken Burns discussing the Gettysburg Address. If your district blocks YouTube, then parts of this site may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Hangouts require a Google account and may be blocked in some schools. Always test ahead of time before planning a class "trip."

tag(s): field trips (12), virtual field trips (51)

In the Classroom

Share the field trip offerings with your class, and together decide on field trips to take that fit with your curriculum. Before the presentation have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required). After the virtual presentation have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a person involved with the virtual presentation.
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Codecademy - Codeacademy

Grades
4 to 12
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Try Codecademy to learn how to code. Build projects such as interactive websites, games, and apps. Join a community of coders and share the knowledge. Collaborate with others from all...more
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Try Codecademy to learn how to code. Build projects such as interactive websites, games, and apps. Join a community of coders and share the knowledge. Collaborate with others from all over for new projects. Find 18 adaptable lesson plans that link to Codecademy's online courses. You can also build a profile to track progress. Included is a free kit to start an after school coding club. Check out the one hour introductory class on coding for teachers. Codecademy's small lessons help one focus on tasks that might at first be completely foreign or overwhelmingly technical. Discover the curriculum developed for primary and secondary schools. Download an app for iPhones to continue coding. Lessons for coding include JavaScript, HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, and APIs.

tag(s): coding (51), computers (92), engineering (127), STEM (151)

In the Classroom

Codecademy offers you basic instruction before you begin teaching your students (or learning together with them!). Create accounts for your students, and track their progress. Besides the intrinsic factors that come with learning to code, students will be motivated by the streaks, badges, and points they can earn. After school clubs with Codecademy will be a breeze with everything all set up. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days.
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Diagnostic Questions - Craig Barton and Simon Woodhead

Grades
4 to 12
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Diagnostic Questions offers over 2000 quick questions for an immediate and accurate look at student understanding of math concepts. Choose the question link to browse and find questions...more
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Diagnostic Questions offers over 2000 quick questions for an immediate and accurate look at student understanding of math concepts. Choose the question link to browse and find questions by topic. Choose "Random Question" for one question on any topic. Each question offers multiple choice answers and checks for the correct response. View each response to find out how many others made that choice. Optional site registration allows you to assemble collections of questions into quizzes to save and share. Use the online editor to create and share your own quizzes and questions in just seconds. The site was created in the UK, so it has some pronunciations and spellings different from American English.

tag(s): angles (86), area (68), assessment (105), charts and graphs (195), data (151), decimals (131), equations (153), exponents (42), fractions (235), functions (69), geometric shapes (165), median (22), order of operations (39), statistics (124), time (139), vectors (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use to find a question of the day to begin lessons. Share or embed questions on your class website. Have students prepare a question of the day to include with your quizzes. See the "About" page to find questions for class discussions. Though they suggest using mini whiteboards or a large card, think about using computers or tablets and a student response system, such as Socrative, reviewed here. Using a student response system, you will be able to keep a record of the responses without having stacks of paper. It will help you to differentiate and know whom to focus on with some immediate extra help.

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Slack - Slack Technologies, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Slack is a real-time messaging tool for teams that includes archiving and search features. Create channels for different groups or teams to include messages, files, images, and more...more
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Slack is a real-time messaging tool for teams that includes archiving and search features. Create channels for different groups or teams to include messages, files, images, and more for sharing. Drag and drop files work with Google Docs, Dropbox, Twitter, and others making it easy to share across several different platforms. Easily search Slack archives to find discussions, documents, and more.
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tag(s): chat (53), DAT device agnostic tool (171), microblogging (41), organizational skills (128), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Share this resource with high school students working on group projects for better group communication, managing workflow, and more. Take the time during the first week of school or as group projects approach to model how to plan and manage group processes using such a tool. Use this tool with school clubs, as well. Manage professional discussions by creating channels for different departmental or grade level teams.

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My Live Chat - mylivechat

Grades
K to 12
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Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students ...more
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Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students visit the page. When in an active chat, visitors receive a pop-up asking if they wish to join the chat. This tool runs on every platform and mobile device. Be sure to check out the demo tab to understand how to use the tool in your website. Add the HTML code into your site to add the chat box and features. Use this tool to analyze site traffic so you can identify what is most used by students and parents.
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tag(s): chat (53), DAT device agnostic tool (171)

In the Classroom

Create a chat message pop-up for the most frequently asked questions students and parents have about finding items on your classroom site. Offer a set time for office hours published well in advance for parents and students to drop in and ask questions about assignments, homework help, or any other questions that they may have. Set up a chat time early in the school year for "meet and greet" so parents discover your website or for those who are unable to attend back to school night! Cut down on email! Encourage students to identify the questions they (or their parents) have the most as you develop the scope for your chat. ESL/ELL teachers can use the chat to provide extra written language practice for their students in an engaging way! Use the chat with your colleagues in a Teacher Lounge format to help each other in the appropriate use of technology, content sharing, or professional development.

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ClassFlow - Promethean

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
ClassFlow is more than a lesson builder, more than a presentation tool, more than an assessment tool; it is all of these and more! Access everything in one place: create, ...more
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ClassFlow is more than a lesson builder, more than a presentation tool, more than an assessment tool; it is all of these and more! Access everything in one place: create, present, and share lessons; connect, poll, and assess students with devices they use every day. After registering, you will receive a welcome email with several "getting started" links. The lesson developer is a very powerful tool, with options for embedding, linking, or adding images and shapes. There are also annotating/highlighting tools, and more. ClassFlow has an Android app and is optimized for Chrome or Safari on an iPad. Demonstration videos hosted on YouTube show how to have students sign up via a web browser. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (105), classroom management (148), DAT device agnostic tool (171)

In the Classroom

Any teacher can take advantage of ClassFlow. It is a good idea to view the YouTube video for creating a lesson on ClassFlow. Become familiar with this program, and have students present projects using ClassFlow. Since ClassFlow is an interactive and collaborative program, have literature circles complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using ClassFlow. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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Random Name Selector - Primary Technology

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "draw" student names at any time and from any device using the Random Name Selector. Choose "Change Names" to create your own list of names. Click "Save" when finished. ...more
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Easily "draw" student names at any time and from any device using the Random Name Selector. Choose "Change Names" to create your own list of names. Click "Save" when finished. Adjust the length of your spin from 4 to 7 seconds. Turn the sound on or off. Choose "Save and Share" to view the embed code for any blog or website or copy the URL to bookmark and save for future use. As each name appears, it includes the option to remove it from the list.

tag(s): classroom management (148), probability (131)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Selector to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name selector to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Selector as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins (be sure not to remove them from the list as they appear).

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OK2Ask'®: Common Core Math Ideas K-8 August 2014 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover TeachersFirst to energize and strengthen teaching of Common Core...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from August 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover TeachersFirst to energize and strengthen teaching of Common Core Math Standards in the classroom. Participants will view and explore new resources for lesson planning, student use, and collaboration with a focus on understanding and developing math concepts as well as the use of writing in the math classroom. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. It's OK2Ask. This session is appropriate for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring 10-15 math resources located on TeachersFirst. Investigate and discuss lesson ideas, student resources, and Common Core resources offered in the reviews and by other teachers in this online session. List possible curriculum-related projects or activities that students could do in his/her classes using one of these resources. Explore and practice with the resource(s) of choice. (Follow-up) Plan and implement a student-centered, curriculum-related use of the resource(s) of choice as part of an upcoming teaching unit. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a,b,c,and d, 2a, b, c, and d, 3b,c and d, 5a. Please read the full text at ISTE's standards page

tag(s): commoncore (95)

In the Classroom

Have you gone Common Core in your classroom? Explore these fabulous math sites to meet your Common Core standards. Many of these sites would be useful in any math classroom, even one not following Common Core. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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