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CodeCombat - CodeCombat

Grades
3 to 12
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing...more
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing basic JavaScript commands. Each level of play provides a new challenge for programmers to experiment the best way to accomplish the goals of the game. Write JavaScript code to direct the character's actions, and then run the code to see what happens. Correct the code if needed to complete the level. Programmers earn accessories, XP, and achievement badges after conquering a level. A series of five stars indicates the difficulty for each level. CodeCombat never feels like a gamified coding course because it makes learning fun. The emphasis is on the game instead of the code. CodeCombat is free to play, but an email is required to create an account to save information and for the multiplayer option. A premium upgrade is available for a fee. This review is for the FREE portion only.

tag(s): coding (47), creativity (109), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. Create an after school coding club for students to access the site. Challenge students to write stories to accompany each level of code they complete in CodeCombat. Encourage students to create as they become more advanced in CodeCombat. Provide an environment for students to collaborate to solve the levels.

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American Bald Eagle Foundation - Bald Eagle Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Fly into the Bald Eagle Foundation, in Haines Alaska, dedicated to the preservation of this national symbol. Discover eagle facts and incredible image galleries. Read more about the...more
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Fly into the Bald Eagle Foundation, in Haines Alaska, dedicated to the preservation of this national symbol. Discover eagle facts and incredible image galleries. Read more about the museum, festival, and preserve in Haines, Alaska. Be sure to click on Festival on the top menu. Find a YouTube video full of beautiful vistas for Haines, Alaska, plenty of history, and cool, unusual information about the bald eagle. If your district blocks YouTube, this video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): endangered species (38), extinction (4)

In the Classroom

Study the bald eagle and its current status as no longer endangered. Use as a research site for bald eagle information. Show the video under the Festivals tab on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If you do not wish to show all scenes in the video use a program like Reel Surfer, reviewed here, to show only the portions of the video you want your students to see. Look for an animal in your area, and research it. Do a Problem Based Learning Project on creating dioramas and information for creating public awareness. Create a festival to promote the preservation of the species. Have students create commercials and posters to meet speaking and listening standards. For online posters use a program like CheckThis, reviewed here. Create a public blog for an ongoing research watch. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics.
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Breaking News - NBC News Digital Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one ...more
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one of the headlines to read the story that comes from a variety of news sources. Click on the globe icon on the upper right of the news page to view the world map. This shows the location of where the stories originate. Clicking on the dots on the map also take you to the stories. This tool is available on web browsers, iOS, and Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), globe (14), maps (288), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects. Assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter. The reports should keep their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what is going on via this news site, and give a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can do an oral presentation or create a short video summarizing the same information. View several news articles from different areas and discuss bias and point of view from other cities and countries. Choose dots on the map randomly from the various sections to see what is trending in different regions. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week ...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), humor (15)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): computers (94), engineering (125), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Corpus of Global Web-Based English - Brigham Young University

Grades
9 to 12
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This extensive collection contains thousands of commonly used academic words from all over the English-speaking world (20 countries in all). The contexts are also included. Learn about...more
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This extensive collection contains thousands of commonly used academic words from all over the English-speaking world (20 countries in all). The contexts are also included. Learn about word and phrase usage, word frequency, collocations from spoken language and all forms of written discourse: magazines, books, newspapers, and more. Begin by searching for exact words or phrases, wildcards, lemmas, part of speech, or any combinations of these. Results can include surrounding words, synonyms, examples of modern usage, and comparisons of usage from 1900 to the present. Limit your searches in many different ways. Use the simple five-minute guided tour to learn about the many features of this exciting word authority. This collection is four times as large as the related Corpus of American English.

tag(s): vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an addition to reading skill work and vocabulary enhancement studies. Students may find this beneficial when preparing for the ACT, PSAT, and SAT exams. Students can keep their own word lists of target and related words directly on the site.

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Corpus of American English - Brigham Young University

Grades
9 to 12
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This extensive collection contains thousands of commonly used academic words and their contexts. It also includes word and phrase usage, word frequency, collocations from spoken language...more
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This extensive collection contains thousands of commonly used academic words and their contexts. It also includes word and phrase usage, word frequency, collocations from spoken language and all forms of written discourse including magazines, books, newspapers, etc. Begin by searching for exact words or phrases, wildcards, lemmas, part of speech, or any combinations of these. Results can include surrounding words, synonyms, examples of popular usage, or comparisons of usage from 1900 to the present. You can limit searches in many different ways. Use the simple five-minute guided tour to learn about the many features of this exciting word authority.

tag(s): vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an addition to reading skill work and vocabulary enhancement studies. Students may find this beneficial when preparing for the ACT, PSAT, and SAT exams. Students can keep their own word lists of target and related words directly on the site.

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (134), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator 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 Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Kotobana - Kotobana

Grades
K to 12
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including ...more
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including this one our editors made using the word "teaching." Click +draw to make your own. Enter a single, short word and choose options such as font and color scheme. Give it a name, and it will be added to the Gallery. There are other sharing options for the designs you make, but many are labeled in Japanese! If you click to open it from the Gallery, you can copy its direct url from your address bar to save as a Favorite or share with others. Turn off autoplay in the Gallery to keep your design on the screen. Roll your mouse over a design (or tap it on a tablet) to make it spin! You can share to Facebook and Pinterest directly. The easiest way to share is by saving the url or by taking a screenshot of your finished design (Printscrn button on Windows or Command+Shift+4 on Mac). You also have the option to actually print. Note that the gallery could have word designs that may be in other languages or possibly be inappropriate for young people. Our editors found nothing objectionable at the time of this review. Preview to be safe. Click the sound on/off option in the footer to turn off the music as you enjoy the site.

tag(s): design (84), graphic design (35), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate radial symmetry in an art or math class using this tool. As you teach letter shapes in kindergartens, try making a design to help your students see the shape in this colorful format. If you teach about fonts in an art or graphic design class, this tool can spark discussion about the design elements of letter forms. An idea for elementary or middle school teachers: Have students create "flowers" of their own names (or shortened nicknames) as a getting to know you activity during the first week of school. Post the design screenshot images on your class web page or print them to put in the hallway.

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Word Wars - Clay.io

Grades
1 to 8
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Sharpen your spelling and word finding abilities with the addicting challenge Word Wars! Race against the clock (90 seconds) to find as many words that you can connect in the ...more
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Sharpen your spelling and word finding abilities with the addicting challenge Word Wars! Race against the clock (90 seconds) to find as many words that you can connect in the given word array. Earn points for words. You can click on the letters to form the words or spell the words using your keyboard.

tag(s): crosswords (18), phonics (75), sight words (37), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Introduce Word Wars on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a reward time activity for a whole class, teams, or individuals. After introducing, use at centers. Add to your website for spelling practice. For older students have them create their own Word War arrays using vocabulary or spelling words.

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Travel By Drone - Jan Hiersemenzel

Grades
K to 12
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different ...more
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different views of the area are provided. Search for specific cities, select editors' choices, or see the "Latest" drone footage. As with any Google map there are the usual navigation tools. To see if the area you want to view has footage, scroll through the map. The Drone footage is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cities (25), countries (77), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), setting (11), video (253)

In the Classroom

This site is continually adding new places to see. If you don't find what you want, check back frequently. Make geography come to life by showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool to explore how it looks in the country or city studied in world cultures (or languages). Explore geography concepts, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Students creating a multimedia presentation with a setting can look at Travel By Drone to see if there is footage they can use.

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SlideRule - Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject,...more
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject, university, or providers. Narrow results down by starting date, teaching method, or credentials. Each entry includes a short description of the course, fees (many are free!), start dates, length of course, and skill level required. Many classes also include reviews from other SlideRule users. Click the "Enroll" link to go directly to the course or save to your wish list after creating a free account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. Most do not require Flash. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share SlideRule with your gifted students as a resource for finding enrichment resources or content not taught by your school. Search for and share free courses for all students to use for review of any topic. Use the SlideRule search engine to find professional development courses for your own personal use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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 (99), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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Elementary Science Resource Kit - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and...more
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and famous inventors. While learning about the famous inventors, also learn the value of scientific thinking! Build thinking skills with the challenging culmination piece. These range from creating riddles to creating brochures and journals. All units include step by step directions, Science Content Standards (NSES), ELA Common Core Anchor Standards, and NETS. In addition, there is a list of resources to use and a suggestion for assessment. You MUST register to view the lessons. To register simply give your name and email, and download all seven of these units for free!
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tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (276), biomes (116), butterflies (13), famous people (19), inventors and inventions (101), life cycles (25), planets (123), scientific method (64), scientists (68), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in hands-on, inquiry projects with these seven plans. Introduce them on your interactive whiteboard or projector and select a class project to complete. Have student groups choose a topic to research. Created for grades 1 to 5, with one for 5-8, any of the plans could be adjusted to fit any of these grade levels. The science kit lesson plans are free, and so are some of the resources they suggest using, such as Pics4Learning, reviewed here. However, the Pixie and Wixie program that the lesson advises using is not free. Instead, use QwikSlides, reviewed here, or RawShorts, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark these units for future use.

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Learn the Alphabet - Marc Gunderson

Grades
K to 2
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This very simple but engaging site allows young children to select a letter of the alphabet, then view a video to learn about the letter. Choose any letter to view ...more
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This very simple but engaging site allows young children to select a letter of the alphabet, then view a video to learn about the letter. Choose any letter to view the video with characters providing letter sounds and providing words beginning with the letter. The videos are hosted on YouTube. They do not require Flash. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce each letter of the alphabet. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these videos for your "letter of the day" activities. Be sure to include a link to videos on your class web page for viewing at home. Share a link with parents as a resource for learning letters at home. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL learners as an introduction to the alphabet and letter sounds.

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Give Me Sport - givemesport.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Give Me Sport is an online magazine offering the most current sports news, opinions, videos, and more. Choose specific sports categories or view articles by what is trending and the...more
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Give Me Sport is an online magazine offering the most current sports news, opinions, videos, and more. Choose specific sports categories or view articles by what is trending and the latest news. Find more global sports information by choosing to view the UK version instead of the US version of the magazine (use the drop down box at the top of the page). This site contains options for comments on all articles that are not moderated. Be sure to preview comments before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (126), journalism (46), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Offer Give Me Sport as an alternative to reluctant readers for independent reading. Challenge students to find articles and then research additional information for writing projects or biography reports. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook featuring a sports personality.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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A Soft Murmur - Gabriel Martin

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds...more
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Use the slider bar at the top of the page to adjust sound levels as needed.

tag(s): creative writing (166), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Does your class have silent reading time, or are you reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use a background sound as mood music to set the stage for your story. Use the sounds during creative writing exercises. Why not listen to waves or water while studying them?! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. If you talk with students about discovering their own 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. Some students may find them over stimulating while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Becoming a Common Core Ninja - Rich Clark and CoreStand

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom,...more
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Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom, and C.O.R.E Classrooms in Practice. The e-book also features many excellent templates for use in Common Core classrooms (pages 21-25).

tag(s): commoncore (92), ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Use Becoming a Common Core Ninja as part of your ongoing professional development with Common Core Standards. Enlist other teachers to download the book and discuss by chapters as part of a book club. Share information from this book with coworkers and administrators as you work toward understanding and teaching Common Core Standards.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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