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OK2Ask'®: Specialized for Special Needs - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help students needing emotional support, learning support, speech/language support, autistic support, ESL assistance, and more. Find resources that promote organization, focus, and differentiated learning. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring at least 10 specialized resources on TeachersFirst. Explore and practice with selected resources. Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants. List and discuss other curriculum related projects or activities that could be done using the resources in the teacher's own teaching situation. (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c. ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): autism (20), differentiation (26), learning disability (13), organizational skills (93)

In the Classroom

Find new strategies and techniques to use for the special needs in your classroom. Explore various tools for language skills, focus, organization, differentiation, and more. Share some of your favorite sites with families on your class wiki or website. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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What Your Teen is Doing on Social Media - Liahona Academy

Grades
4 to 12
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Liahona Academy offers this PDF infographic as a detailed look at teen social media use and what parents and teachers should know to take an active role in students' online ...more
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Liahona Academy offers this PDF infographic as a detailed look at teen social media use and what parents and teachers should know to take an active role in students' online life. Discover how teens spend their time on social media, what platforms they use, and how to stay informed of their activities. Follow tips for monitoring Internet browsing activity with specifics for commonly used browsers. Learn how teens try to hide activity from adults and what you can do to stay one step ahead! Stay informed about tools available to adults to help monitor the safety of students.

tag(s): cyberbullying (33), digital citizenship (25), internet safety (95)

In the Classroom

Share this infographic at Back to School Night, at Open House, or as a link on class/school web page. Discuss this information with your preteen/teen students as part of a digital citizenship curriculum. Be sure to talk about what THEY think parents should do/talk with them about. Share this information with colleagues as part of your professional development training in computer/Internet safety. Use these tips to keep your students safe while browsing in the classroom. This could also make a great discussion at a faculty meeting as your school ventures into a 1:1 program.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Autism Team - My Health Teams

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K to 12
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic...more
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic children, questions and answers, and activities -- with daily updates of triumphs and trials. Register using your email to access most information on the site; however, it is possible to search and browse the question and answers and find local providers without registration. This is NOT a medical or "professional" site, though they do have partnerships with several respected professional autism-related groups (see Partners section).

tag(s): autism (20)

In the Classroom

If you have an autism spectrum chid in class, use information and resources on My Autism Team to understand parental concerns and make parent-teacher conferences and communications more effective. Share this site with parents of autistic children as a resource for networking with other parents. Be sure to share this with partner teachers including Special Education teachers. Browse the Question and Answer portion of the site to become familiar with concerns families of autistic children have when working with school systems and IEPs. Help diffuse the feeling of "them and us" by reading what parents say and talking about how you can work together.

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Super Power Speech - Caroline Bowen

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1 to 5
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links,...more
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links, Social Skills, Language based speech therapy, many engaging blog entries, and links to helpful speech resources by clicking on Speech on the top menu bar. Explore resources for Assessment and Response to Intervention. Some material featured on the site goes to Teachers Pay Teachers, but some are free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (69), social skills (16), speech (88), vocabulary development (102)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a speech pathologist, social skills/autistic support teacher, or a classroom teacher, find extra resources here to help children with speech and language needs. Also read the discussions to help build social skills or even to improve literacy. Read through past blog entries. Brush up on the latest to be sure you are current! You may also find some specific ideas to share with these students' parents at conferences so you can work together in supporting their child. Primary grade regular ed teachers will find vocabulary development activities appropriate for any student, not just those who are identified.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fake Concert Ticket Generator - faketicketgenerator.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After ...more
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Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After entering information, click "Make My Ticket!" to view and save your ticket in JPEG format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (41), classroom management (78)

In the Classroom

Ask your students to use the Fake Ticket Generator to create excitement for class presentations. Have them create tickets and hand them out to other students to use to be admitted to class for their presentation. Create tickets to hand out to students at the beginning of any unit to create interest and excitement. Make tickets to give to parents as invitation to Meet the Teacher night, Science and Book Fairs, PTO meetings, and more. Create tickets that students can earn, such as a ticket to skip a homework assignment or to have extra time at centers. Give out tickets to special events in the library/media center, such as Dress as Your Favorite Author Day. Have students create tickets to a classroom museum or science fair. Use tickets as a behavior incentive.
 

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NameCoach - Praveen Shanbhag

Grades
K to 12
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Never mispronounce a name again, thanks to the help of NameCoach! Users record their names using their own computer or any other device. Add phonetic spelling or pronunciation tips....more
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Never mispronounce a name again, thanks to the help of NameCoach! Users record their names using their own computer or any other device. Add phonetic spelling or pronunciation tips. You can listen to the names as often as you wish. Create your account to make lists for Back to School, award ceremonies, graduations, and much more. After creating your name page, share a link to participants through email or as a link on your class webpage or blog. Create a master list with sublists for use in different departments, classes, or for individual events.

tag(s): classroom management (78), pronunciation (39)

In the Classroom

Create a master list of student names in your school or class using NameCoach. Provide a subset for different activities such as award ceremonies, after-school programs, or for student tutors. Share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an authentic way to learn and practice unfamiliar names. Provide this list (and URL) to any substitute coming to your classroom. Use it in world language classes to help students learn pronunciation of new names.

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TeachingEnglish - BBC

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K to 12
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TeachingEnglish provides free classroom materials, lesson plans, and activities for teaching English from primary ages through adults. Explore free teacher professional development...more
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TeachingEnglish provides free classroom materials, lesson plans, and activities for teaching English from primary ages through adults. Explore free teacher professional development and training materials in addition to articles on the facets of teaching. Any group, whether ESL/ELL or not, can use the lessons and some of the interesting activities they have for learning vocabulary and engaging in conversation. At the bottom of the home page find a huge directory categorized by Teaching Resources, Tools for Teachers, Teacher Development, Teacher Training, Specialist areas, and more. Since the site is from the UK, the vocabulary and spelling used is British.

tag(s): vocabulary (305), vocabulary development (102), word study (57)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector or your interactive whiteboard for the whole class. You could also differentiate by having small groups of students working on various activities at their individual independent levels. Make a shortcut to the activity on your classroom computer. Share a link to this resource on your class website or blog.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SchoolCircle - Elena Krasnoperova

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K to 12
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Open up the lines of parent/teacher communication with SchoolCircle. Use your email address to create your account and set up class Circles. Manage Circles to share messages, pictures,...more
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Open up the lines of parent/teacher communication with SchoolCircle. Use your email address to create your account and set up class Circles. Manage Circles to share messages, pictures, and files. Add tasks, organize events, and assign roles. Members of Circles receive three types of emails: a daily digest received each evening, a morning email with information due that day, and a weekly digest each Sunday. There is an option to send urgent messages immediately.

tag(s): classroom management (78), homework (46), microblogging (37)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a snow day or other emergency. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to school. Don't forget to include any extracurricular activities. Use this tool to communicate with parents. Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, school spirit days, conferences, and more. Learning support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add messages with tips for parents to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using SchoolCircle. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Wheel Decide - wheeldecide.com

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K to 12
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Wheel Decide helps make decisions interesting and fair. Choose from ready-made wheels with choices such as games or food. Create your own wheels. Scroll down below the wheel and choose...more
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Wheel Decide helps make decisions interesting and fair. Choose from ready-made wheels with choices such as games or food. Create your own wheels. Scroll down below the wheel and choose "Make/Modify Wheel" to customize your wheel for any purpose. Add up to 100 choices and a title. Advanced options allow you to remove a choice after landing on it, choose from color options, adjust the length of spin, and more. Cancel the "click" sound if it is distracting. At the time of this review saving a wheel required signing in with your Facebook account or bookmarking/copying the URL.

tag(s): classroom management (78), probability (106)

In the Classroom

Use Wheel Decide to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose which classmate comes next. Create your class name wheel and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use Wheel Decide as part of a probability unit to chart how often names or items appear with random spins (be sure not to remove them from the list as they appear). Create custom wheels throughout the year to help with decisions such as students' choice activities, options for games at indoor recess, or subjects for reports.

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Printliminator - Chris Coyier and Devon Govett

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K to 12
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Highlight and print (or view) only what you want from a web page using Printliminator. Drag the bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar. (Printliminator works with Safari, Chrome, and...more
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Highlight and print (or view) only what you want from a web page using Printliminator. Drag the bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar. (Printliminator works with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.) Then click the bookmarklet from any page to open up tool options. Mouse over your web page and click on red boxes to remove them from the page. When ready, preview and send to your printer. Be sure to watch the Quick Video Demo for a full overview of all features of the Printliminator.

tag(s): classroom management (78)

In the Classroom

Install the Printliminator on your browser tool bar. Use when viewing web pages on your interactive whiteboard to eliminate unnecessary information. Delete unnecessary information from webpages. Send to print and save as PDF for use with student handouts or links from your class web page. (Of course, you will want to include your SOURCE on the handouts as a model of good digital citizenship.) Use this tool to share handouts or pdfs with students who are easily distracted to help them stay focused on what matters. This is also a great way to select portions of a web site to save as a pdf and share on an interactive whiteboard for summarizing, highlighting, and more.

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TweetBeam - Pim Stuurman

Grades
4 to 12
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Highlight and show tweets from any hashtag or twitter handle in a creative and visually appealing way with TweetBeam. Enter any hashtag or sign in to your Twitter account to ...more
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Highlight and show tweets from any hashtag or twitter handle in a creative and visually appealing way with TweetBeam. Enter any hashtag or sign in to your Twitter account to view a stunning, real-time visualization of tweets. They update as new tweets arrive. Mouse over any image to view the entire text. Click the four arrows near the top left of the screen to view in full screen.
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tag(s): twitter (47)

In the Classroom

TweetBeam is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Follow hashtags on current events to view information in real-time. Do you have your own hashtag for your class? If not, this is a perfect way to get started! Use TweetBeam to interact and follow other classrooms and projects anywhere in the world. Create a hashtag for any school event and display TweetBeam on the big screen to participants to encourage them to interact and participate! Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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PBIS World - PBIS World

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K to 12
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources,...more
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources, and data collection and tracking tools. There are discussions about behavior, behavior analysis, problem-solving, ideas, and more! Start by selecting the behavior you want to address and proceed through the steps to the interventions and directions for using them. Some of the topics tackled include Anxiety, Disorganized, Poor Coping Skills, Lack of Participation, and many others. Explore ways to help students (or even adults) cope with these issues. There are three tiers to the program with different types of interventions.
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tag(s): autism (20), behavior (41), classroom management (78), emotions (27)

In the Classroom

Think of an undesirable behavior in your classroom, and you will probably find it on the PBIS list. Read a description of the behavior (just to make sure you chose the correct one). Then go on to the interventions. Click to see how and when to use each intervention. Choose from many interventions for each behavior. Use the different forms to keep track of the success (or lack of success) of the intervention over the weeks and months you try it. If the Tier One interventions do not work, proceed to tier two. Share this resource with colleagues and parents to team up for success.

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Writing Across the Curriculum - creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Do you need fresh ideas and tips for writing across the curriculum? This site should give you lots of inspiration and step-by-step suggestions to get going. Read about the benefits...more
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Do you need fresh ideas and tips for writing across the curriculum? This site should give you lots of inspiration and step-by-step suggestions to get going. Read about the benefits of cross-curricular writing. Get started with the RAFTS prompts information. RAFTS prompts provide students with focus and clarity in writing projects and encourage creativity and freedom of thought. Be sure to check out these thoughtful ideas as you gear up your writing instruction.

tag(s): creative writing (134), descriptive writing (28), expository writing (31), letter writing (17), paragraph writing (10), persuasive writing (42), process writing (33), writers workshop (19)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site as a starting point for any writing projects. Share this site with other teachers as a professional development activity. Incorporate suggestions from this site into your Writing Workshop. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book. There is even a page-turning effect! Have students create blogs using Instablogg ( here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL to your blog allows you to share it easily.

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Educators New to Twitter - Kyle Calderwod

Grades
K to 12
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating ...more
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating a Twitter account, get advice about whom to follow, explore programs to use to help you manage your Twitter account, and read how to keep track of everything. Learn about all the terms needed to be successful using Twitter as a teacher. This site is clean, simple, and very helpful!

tag(s): chat (38), microblogging (37), social networking (103), twitter (47)

In the Classroom

After creating an account, look at the page for what else you can start doing. Find other educators to follow on the Before You Begin page, and also look at participating in a Twitter Chat. Find a list of chats to join, and the day and time they meet at the Twitter Chat Schedule. As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account for your class to follow people who work in fields and topics you study. Even primary grades can connect with other classes or "follow" many learning experiences via Twitter. Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Small PDF - smallpdf.com

Grades
K to 12
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, ...more
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, merge PDF files, and much more! After choosing the option to use, follow the simple directions for uploading files. Be sure to download and save. All conversions use temporary online storage and disappear from servers within an hour.

tag(s): worksheets (40)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Small PDF for use throughout the year. Upload Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to convert into PDF documents. Use Small PDF to split large PDF documents into smaller, manageable portions. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their finished PDFs into an online book. Page Flip-Flap even has a page-turning effect!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (36), newbies (18), professional development (69)

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 (36), newbies (18), professional development (69)

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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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 (109), portfolios (22)

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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TeachersFirst's Implementing Common Core in Elementary Grades - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Find thoughtful yet practical articles with strategies for implementing Common Core in elementary grades. These articles guide teachers through the steps of re-visiting or planning...more
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Find thoughtful yet practical articles with strategies for implementing Common Core in elementary grades. These articles guide teachers through the steps of re-visiting or planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading, writing, speaking, listening standards as well as Next Gen Science Standards.

tag(s): commoncore (49), listening (79), literacy (83), speaking (18)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites and use them as discussion points for inservice sessions or grade level meetings as you move to Common Core.

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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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (78), posters (25), professional development (69)

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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