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Visiting Authors - visitingauthors.com

Grades
K to 6
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all ...more
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all found here. Some of the authors include Marie Bradby, Timothy Bush, Nikki Grimes, Angela Johnson, Steve Lyon, Alexander Stadler, and many others. Learn where the author resides, fees, and more.

tag(s): printables (37)

In the Classroom

Have your students pretend to be an author who visits your school. Make a video of the "visits" from several "authors." Make a wish list of their expectations from the students. Have students create fictional stories of why the author wrote a particular book. Share them with the author for huge laughs. If you do invite one of these featured authors, make sure you read their books well in advance of the visit. Many of these authors have their own websites, so visit those sites as well. As a school event, you may be able to arrange a 'Lunch with the Author' fundraiser.

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SmartWriters.com - Roxyanne Young

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians....more
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While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians. These include essential information on planning a great school visit from an author, resources for teaching reading and writing, and Teacher's Pets (tons of reviews of well-loved books). Also, at the SmartWriters homepage, click on the For Young Writers links to find how-to activities, contests, and publications for your students' work.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

If you have budding writers in your class, make sure you check out the Young Writers link. Scores of websites open their doors to student publication. You must obtain parent permission before submitting any student work to such sites, however. Why not create a bulletin board, "Smart Writers," to highlight your own smart writers?

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Center for Language Education and Research - Michigan State University

Grades
7 to 12
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR...more
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR project leverages the power of the Internet to provide a suite of tools that give students audio and video learning experiences while supplying teachers with smart effective tools for lesson design and assessment. Teachers who are comfortable with technology and those who are confident creators of multimedia content will find these tools easy to use and backed up with good documentation and video tutorials. The tools require no download or installation for use. The supported languages include, Chinese, German, Russian, Korean, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, and others.

Teacher registration is free and students don't need email accounts or registration to access the tools. Go to http://clear.msu.edu/teaching/online/ria/index.php to click on the link for Rich Internet Applications. The tools provide great ways to create interactive audio and video language prompts, record student responses, and collect them into audio dropboxes for teacher assessment.

The website also includes an extensive library of interactive multimedia modules for language learning, practice, and assessment. The modules are based on video clips that show native speakers and nonnative speakers interacting in natural, unscripted situations.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (21), chinese (50), french (89), german (65)

In the Classroom

Language teachers can create a series of audio/video prompts for their students with the program "Conversations." Learners can access the questions in practice mode or real-time mode. Students' responses to the prompts are automatically saved so that teachers can monitor their work. SMILE is a collection of templates to create interactive language practice exercises that can be accessed from web pages. A record-keeping function allows learners to log their work for their teacher to view. Go beyond paper-based worksheets by adding interactive and multimedia elements such as drag-drop matching, instant feedback, and audio recording and playback with the worksheets tools. The "Broadcasts" program lets teachers record audio files and distribute them to students for playback on the computer or on their portable media devices. Viewpoint is an audio and video repository that lets teachers record audio/video online using a microphone or webcam, or upload existing media.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teacher Book Wizard - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of ...more
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of 50,000 books from all publishers. Snazzy tools allow you to choose your own leveling system, and then match the student to a whole list of books. You will find ready-made, themed lists as well. Teachers can create their own book lists to share with other teachers. Use the BookAlike tool to see what books are similar to a particular well-loved book. Matching the right book to each individual student has never been easier. The Book Wizard Tour requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Teachers, make sure your librarian and even parents know about this wonderful web tool. This could be set up as the homepage for several computers in the library, so students can plug in their levels, their interests, and then enjoy the book recommendations. Librarians, use Scholastic's online library evaluator tool to evaluate your current collection. Teachers, take the Book Wizard Tour for an easy explanation of this helpful service.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Assign-A-Day Online Calendar - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
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Put your assignment calendar online and enhance teacher, student, and parent communication! Assign-A-Day is a free web-based calendar tool that provides an easy way to create...more
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Put your assignment calendar online and enhance teacher, student, and parent communication! Assign-A-Day is a free web-based calendar tool that provides an easy way to create monthly calendars for each subject area or grade level. Registration is free and takes you to your calendar manager page after you log on. Customize the calendar colors, font style, and size to make a unique look for your class. Create or edit assignments from any computer that is connected to the Internet. Add links to websites or your TeachersFirst favorites as part of an assignment. Invite colleagues to share the calendar and work collaboratively with you. Students and parents can see the calendar by visiting the web site (no log-on required) and entering the teacher name in the search box. The calendar can be printed out as a grid or a list for student and parent use at home. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Consider creating a shared calendar for a grade level or subject area with your colleagues! Be sure to give your students and parents the web address to the Assign-A-Day web site. They can find your calendar using your name or calendar ID number. If you have a teacher web page, add a link to Assign-A-Day or ask your web master to add a link on the school web page. Besides assignments, use the online calendar to remind students and parents about other class-related items such as field trip forms, materials for science projects, great weekend family events, and the birthdays of historical figures. Since this is a public calendar, remember to protect your students' safety by not including student names. Check with your Information Technology department to make sure the web site is not blocked at school so that you can add assignments during prep time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Reading - Wireless Generation

Grades
K to 2
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This collaborative, wiki-style site is full of rich literacy activities for grades K-2. Everything featured on FreeReading is research-based. There are small group and whole group activities,...more
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This collaborative, wiki-style site is full of rich literacy activities for grades K-2. Everything featured on FreeReading is research-based. There are small group and whole group activities, focusing on phonemic awareness and phonics. Topics range from sight words to letter sounds. You also have the option to contribute to Free-Reading. You can add a short story, add vocabulary for a book, rate an existing activity, and several other possibilities. There are videos of many of the lessons being taught in the classroom. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (72), preK (291), sound (103), sounds (68), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

The classroom possibilities at this site are endless. Whatever specific skills you are teaching in your language arts class, you are certain to find a correlating lesson or activity at this website. Use these resources to "spice up" your lessons and save time by not "reinventing the wheel." You might want to join the community so you can "give back" by sharing some of your own successful activities, as well. Of course, such a site is only as instructionally sound as its contributors make it. Be sure to read the FAQ and community information before contributing.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Block Posters - blockposters.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Make a poster in a snap using this easy tool. Just upload your photo, slice it, and your poster size images will be downloaded to your computer--ready for printing. View ...more
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Make a poster in a snap using this easy tool. Just upload your photo, slice it, and your poster size images will be downloaded to your computer--ready for printing. View the site's gallery for poster ideas. The pictures are downloaded into a PDF file. Adobe Acrobat is required. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): photography (162)

In the Classroom

You could actually use this tool in any subject or grade level to create visual displays for your classroom or have students make their own (upper elementary and older). If you allow students to use this site, beware that the images in the Gallery may change frequently. What may be 'art' to some may be questionable to others. For art teachers, the use of this tool offers endless possibilities. Student artwork will take on a different air when blown up to gallery-sized prints. Teachers, think E-A-S-Y bulletin boards!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Art Junction - Universtiy of Florida

Grades
2 to 10
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping...more
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping children learn to draw and paint. The site features a neat chart of the developmental stages of artistic output. In addition to art "projects," there are exercises to help children think more creatively and training exercises to look at things from multiple points of view and find unusual view of the everyday. There are also lesson plans, specific links and activities for kids and "Art Education 2.0" (for teachers who want to collaborate with other teachers). One project that's particularly appealing is "Community Stories." Schools share art projects and culture from around the world as they describe their schools and communities. Some of the activities require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creativity (119), critical thinking (111)

In the Classroom

Find an art project to accompany your current unit or try the "Community Stories" link to reach out to communities you have learned about through the ESL students in your school or your world language studies.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Dangerously Irrelevant: Internet Democracy - Scott McLeod

Grades
9 to 12
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"Dangerously Irrelevant" is the blog of education professor Scott McLeod from Iowa State University. He is interested in the interplay between technology and education, and his blog...more
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"Dangerously Irrelevant" is the blog of education professor Scott McLeod from Iowa State University. He is interested in the interplay between technology and education, and his blog brings together a number issues and ideas that teachers ought to be thinking about. This section of the blog provides resources for social studies teachers who are including content related to the upcoming Presidential elections. Organized by candidate, McLeod provides links to YouTube videos about each candidate. He also provides instructions for downloading YouTube videos through a secondary program so they can be emailed and accessed by teachers whose school districts block access to YouTube. Social studies teachers need to teach students how to critically assess the huge volume of information on the internet about candidates for political office. Campaign strategists spend enormous amounts of energy and money trying to "market" voters, and if students are to be informed voters in the near future, they need to recognize these tactics and learn to access concrete information.

tag(s): elections (77), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use these videos to demonstrate political tactics and help students navigate election promises and propaganda. Because these videos come from YouTube, which does little to monitor its content, content should be carefully previewed before using. Share the site or specific videos on a projector or interactive whiteboard as part of class discussion. If your network permits it, provide a local copy of specific videos for students to critique and compare. They could embed the videos in a wiki and write the critique as a collaborative project with small groups. Or have them present a video to the class as if they were on a campaign staff analyzing the opponent's tactics for a campaign staff meeting.

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Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program - National Park Service

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K to 12
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The National Park Service offers this unique opportunity for teachers in low income schools to spend a summer a park ranger, then "bring the parks into the classroom by developing ...more
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The National Park Service offers this unique opportunity for teachers in low income schools to spend a summer a park ranger, then "bring the parks into the classroom by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer's experience." If you are a budding naturalist, seeking a summer job that will make you a better teacher and bring the real world into your classroom, this opportunity may be for you. Only certain parks are involved, and the offerings on the web site change often,so keep checking back.

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Multimedia in Education - Chris Clementi

Grades
6 to 10
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This website will challenge students and teachers alike. The website is in WebQuest format, but could easily be broken down into a shorter lesson. The main topic is multimedia in ...more
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This website will challenge students and teachers alike. The website is in WebQuest format, but could easily be broken down into a shorter lesson. The main topic is multimedia in education and designing multimedia products to fit the content and the audience of the presentation. Nearly every student and/or teacher can learn something new about computer capabilities. This website is eye-opening and very well done. The "task" is to choose a topic (such as culture, weather, animals, or world issues) and to choose images and videos to complement the research topic. Students also have the option to add sound effects and music.

By completing this web activity, students learn about various computer programs available (such as Audacity, Movie Maker, iMovie, WMP, and Real Player). Other technology topics discussed include resizing images, identifying the differences between a jpg and gif, how to grab audio from videos, and much more. There are detailed directions available in PDF format. This website requires FLASH and Adobe, get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

Teachers, you might want to try some of these activities on your own. You might be surprised at how much information you will learn about computer capabilities and multimedia in education. Perhaps you can create a sample student project as an individualized professional development goal beofe doing this unit with your team.

tag(s): images (276), movies (70)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous website to use to integrate technology into your lessons (in science, social studies, LA, and other curriculum areas). Use this website as a process step the first time students research any topic so they can create an effective multimedia presentation as their final project. If you team teach (as in middle school), orient the entire team to multimedia projects using this site early in the year, so all teachers can assume the same skills in your students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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StumbleUpon - StumbleUpon

Grades
8 to 12
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Want to "stumble upon" some great sites? Use StumbleUpon to browse websites without having to enter search terms and click through search pages. Choose categories that you are ...more
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Want to "stumble upon" some great sites? Use StumbleUpon to browse websites without having to enter search terms and click through search pages. Choose categories that you are interested in. These can be updated at any time. Choose hobbies, interests, or teaching subjects. When the StumbleUpon button on the tool bar is pressed, StumbleUpon presents a website to fit your interests. Simply click the thumbs up "I like it" or the thumbs down symbol on the tool bar to "teach" StumbleUpon what you like. StumbleUpon seeks out interesting pages you might otherwise not see. The more you Stumble and indicate your preferences, the more Stumble Upon will refine its understanding of what you like. On the StumbleUpon site, you can see your favorites, as well as the top rated websites, videos, and photos from their many "stumblers." Firefox or Internet Explorer is required.

tag(s): bookmarks (62), evaluating sources (14), social networking (110)

In the Classroom

The best use of this site is for teacher research. Hit the Stumble button once or twice a day to find new ideas and new sites for teaching. Skills needed: Join the site (free, but requires email). Download and install the tool bar for Firefox or Internet Explorer and create your "identity." Click the Stumble button. Though you may not get websites relating to just one specific topic, many in your field or interest group will come up. Bookmark these for later use. LOG OUT of Stumble Upon when you are not at your computer to avoid unauthorized use.

Be wise and choose your interests carefully. For example, if you are interested in photography, you will receive random photo sites. Though many have wonderful photos, a few may have questionable content not appropriate for education. Since StumbleUpon has other uses, such as "dating" and "friends," and the ability to see other "popular" sites, you will want to use a single class account to model and teach web site critique and evaluation as a whole class. Individual student profiles can be problematic to supervise unless your school has built a strong, enforceable Acceptable Use Policy, signed by both student and parent, that holds the STUDENT accountable for his/her behavior, not you.

If your school uses a filter (U.S. schools are required to do so by law), any streaming media and other sites may be blocked. If you "Stumble" at home and find a useful site, follow your school's technology policy to request unblocking of specific URLs that are directly related to curriculum.

Editorial comment: Be sure to SHARE your reason for using the site with administrators and school decision-makers to demonstrate why school policies should permit such powerful tools for teaching and learning. You may have to "prove" the worth of StumbleUpon by providing specific examples of the content you have found through this tool, especially since many schools prevent users from downloading and installing any software at all. Be sure to talk about -- and follow through on -- teaching students how to critique and evaluate websites as research skills. General surfing the web in the classroom is not considered best practice, and your example will speak volumes. You may need to become an expert "Stumbler" at home to build your case for accessing and demonstrating the tool at school.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (106), safety (91), social networking (110)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Intel Schools of Distinction - Intel

Grades
K to 12
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" Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education as Intel Schools of Distinction. One elementary, one middle, and one high school...more
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" Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education as Intel Schools of Distinction. One elementary, one middle, and one high school in each of two categories -- math and science -- receive $10,000 cash grants and more than $100,000 in products and services from sponsors." Intel explains the criteria: "In order to be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards."
This grant opportunity recurs annually, with the deadline usually in February.

tag(s): grants (19)

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Online Stopwatch - online-stopwatch.com

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
  
What a wonderful tool to use in any classroom. This website provides an online stop watch (as the name suggests). On the home page, you have your choice of a ...more
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What a wonderful tool to use in any classroom. This website provides an online stop watch (as the name suggests). On the home page, you have your choice of a stop watch (counting up from 0) or a countdown (for the number of minutes or seconds you choose). There is even a "large stop watch" link that makes the counting a full-screen adventure (perfect if you are using your desktop computer at a distance -- easier for students to see). The stop watch and countdown both require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): counting (120)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Shrink the stopwatch window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard as you time different teams completing a drag-and-drop challenge. The countdown feature could also be used for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!
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Comments

This is truly a wonderful tool, it uses flash though so it won't work on the iPad, in that case I suggest using http://ipadstopwatch.com it does the same thing but also has it's own unique features. Luis, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Eight Forty-Eight: Cyber Bullying - Chicago Public Radio

Grades
3 to 12
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This article, available in both audio recording and print on the web page, shares a parent's experience discovering that her daughter has been the victim of cyberbullying. The article...more
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This article, available in both audio recording and print on the web page, shares a parent's experience discovering that her daughter has been the victim of cyberbullying. The article is written from an adult perspective, but the facts and feelings it reveals are very real to anyone. Parents with children as young as elementary grades should be aware of things they should watch for, say, and do to help their children. Teachers should read it to understand the nature of the problem, as well.

tag(s): bullying (51), cyberbullying (42), internet safety (106), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Share this article with parents in a newsletter or school web page so they, too, can be involved in talking with their children about cyberbullying. Use it as a discussion starter for a parent organization meeting or possibly in a group of middle school students to open the conversation about their experiences and how different they are from what their parents were familiar with as children. Both parents and children would benefit from open dialog on the subject as part of a consistent effort for Internet safety in your school and homes.

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Understanding and Raising Boys - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help ...more
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help parents to raise boys who feel confident, succeed in school, and grow up resilient and responsible. The interactive features include slideshows and videos. The topics of this helpful website include "Boys in School," "The Search for Masculinity," "Active or Aggressive Boys," and "Emotionally Strong Boys". There is also a question/answer section. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Provide this website in your class newsletter or as a link from your teacher web page. There is also pertinent information for teachers at this website. Use this site to help better understand the boys in your class before you pick up the phone to call home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Common Craft - Common Craft Productions

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that ...more
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about, this one is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that anyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Fear not. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. To view the video clips FREE, click on "Video Library" and the topic that you wish to view. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers the videos for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (89), bookmarks (62), social networking (110), video (273), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at "Most Viewed" and "Most Popular Right Now," but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this site a Favorite and tag is as "professional" information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tiny URL - Gilby Productions

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far ...more
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This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far more easily on your teacher web page, in your handouts, or on your blackboard for students to enter.

In the Classroom

If you make a map in Google Maps, an online graphic organizer, a set of online flash cards, to anything else that allows you to share my emailing or copying a URL, this tools will save you from endless errors or emails full of ten-line URLs. Be sure to show your middle and high school students how to use it, as well. This will solve the problem of URLs that get split and no longer work when the text wraps around to another line.

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Tools and Templates - Education World

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice ...more
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice breakers, back to school, graphic organizers and parent-teacher communication.

tag(s): back to school (58), calendars (46), classroom management (149), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Check out the icebreakers for the first day of school, and back to school sections for many ideas and ready to use templates. Remember that if you want to SAVE a file from a download, you should RIGHT-click the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer.

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