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7 Things All New Teachers Need to Know - Adam Gordon/USC Rossier School of Education

Grades
K to 12
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Although fairly short and simple, this article offers advice to brand new teachers as they begin their first day of school. These practical tips provide common sense information for...more
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Although fairly short and simple, this article offers advice to brand new teachers as they begin their first day of school. These practical tips provide common sense information for helping to ease jitters for the new school year and beyond.

tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (18), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Share with all teachers, not just new teachers, as part of back to school planning and activities. Create your own list of advice for new teachers in your school and district. Share with student teachers as a starting point for discussing how to handle different situations they will face as new teachers.

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OK2Ask: Mapping Across Content Areas with Google Maps - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Have you ever used Google Maps to find directions? Sure you have! However,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Have you ever used Google Maps to find directions? Sure you have! However, there are so many more things you can do with it, even in the classroom. Learn how to make lit trips, tour famous buildings, create scavenger hunts using coordinates and so much more. In this session, educators will be taken on a journey through the world of Google Maps. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate to advanced technology levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Explore the difference between Google Maps and My Maps; Discover how to make literacy trips in My Maps; Explore Google Map gallery; Create a map; and Plan a way to incorporate maps into an upcoming lesson.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Understand how to create a Google My Maps and use all the many built-in features of the traditional Google Maps and related map tools and treks to support classroom instruction. Watch this recording together with a few of your teaching colleagues to collect new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Very fun to experience. Maria, CA, Grades: 9 - 12

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OK2Ask: Getting Started with Twitter - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. If you've ever wondered what all of the fuss is about Twitter, then this...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. If you've ever wondered what all of the fuss is about Twitter, then this session is for you! Join us as we explore how this social media tool can be used professionally by teachers. We will demystify Twitter jargon and help you learn to filter your feed in order to see the potential for your personalized professional development. This session will cover Twitter basics and get you on the path to join the conversations happening between educators all over the Twitterverse. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Understand how Twitter can be used for professional development; Create/Update their Twitter account; Find/Follow 10 accounts; Learn the "anatomy" of a tweet; and Learn tools to help filter Twitter feeds.

tag(s): PLN (4), social media (16), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Learn how to use Twitter and take the steps towards expanding your PLN (personalized learning network). View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: 3 Ways to Put Content in Digital Storytelling - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Once upon a time, teachers wanted to make content meaningful and relevant...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Once upon a time, teachers wanted to make content meaningful and relevant to their students' lives...Come to this TeachersFirst Ok2Ask webinar and see digital storytelling as a formative, summative, and effective way to learn content. Learn how to successfully implement a digital storytelling project in your science, social studies, health, or other content area classes. Choose one of the programs we will feature, and follow a few steps to successful implementation. Make a sample project showing your students what you would like them to achieve. After attending, you will be armed with a sample and resources to to start tomorrow... And all of the teachers who followed the path to digital storytelling experienced success and they and their students lived happily ever after. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate to Advanced technology levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Discover ways to integrate digital storytelling into any content area; Understand steps for successful implementation of a digital storytelling project; Review resources for healthy digital citizenship; Explore three web based tools and resources to support digital storytelling; and Plan a project that integrates digital storytelling into science, social studies, or math curriculum.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to incorporate digital storytelling in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elmer's Kindness Parade - David McKee/Anderson Press

Grades
K to 2
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Create a culture of kindness with Elmer, the elephant, based on popular children's stories by author David McKee. Choose the download for free activities for using the Elmer books to...more
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Create a culture of kindness with Elmer, the elephant, based on popular children's stories by author David McKee. Choose the download for free activities for using the Elmer books to find examples of kindness, how to have a kindness parade, and create a kindness pledge. Ideas are all correlated to Common Core Standards.

tag(s): authors (120), emotions (35), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the ideas found on this site when teaching kindness and empathy in your classroom. Ideas are perfect for use when addressing bullying or behavior issues that arise. Take pictures of students demonstrating kindness and share on your class website or blog. Have students color the included Elmer coloring sheet to use as a bulletin board display.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Open Video Project - Interaction Design Labratory, Univ of N Carolina at Chapel Hill

Grades
6 to 12
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The Open Video Project provides a repository of video clips from many different sources for use by researchers and educators. Choose from various genres or collections to find available...more
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The Open Video Project provides a repository of video clips from many different sources for use by researchers and educators. Choose from various genres or collections to find available videos. Find specific content using search filters to find keyword content, video format, the length of the video, and more. Download videos using the links provided with each video clip.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Bookmark the Open Video Project as a resource for finding videos on many different classroom topics. Share this site with students for finding clips to include with multimedia projects. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools,''''?reviewed here.

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Mindset - Carol Dweck

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K to 12
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Mindset is the accompanying website to the book of the same name and offers guidance on achieving a growth mindset. Learn about How Mindset Affects Success with specific information...more
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Mindset is the accompanying website to the book of the same name and offers guidance on achieving a growth mindset. Learn about How Mindset Affects Success with specific information for parents, teachers, and coaches. Other links allow you to Test Your Mindset; find out how to Change Your Mindset through four simple steps.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use information from this site to help change negative mindsets and promote growth mindsets. Share ideas with parents through your class website or newsletter. Take one of the four ideas for changing mindsets to use as a focus for a month at a time school-wide. Share information with peers during professional development sessions.

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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

tag(s): classroom management (134), differentiation (47), game based learning (103), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this excellent resource to use when looking for new ideas for your classroom. Choose from ideas such as "Hands up if you DON'T know" or "Sock puppets in the secondary classroom" to inspire and motivate your students. Look to this blog to differentiate for students of all levels. Divide students into cooperative learning groups using different ideas found on Tarr's Toolbox.

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Space - Time - Time Inc.

Grades
4 to 9
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Stay up to date with the latest news from Space with this resource from Time. Scroll down the page to view articles organized by date. Click to see any article ...more
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Stay up to date with the latest news from Space with this resource from Time. Scroll down the page to view articles organized by date. Click to see any article with included images. Explore topics further by clicking links to additional information found within the articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): explorers (61), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this site on classroom computers as a non-fiction resource for reading material. This site will be especially helpful for students with a high interest in space exploration. If you want to remove distracting advertisements, use a site such as Readability, reviewed here. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector as you explore the latest news from space.

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Limnu - David Debry and David Hart

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to...more
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to learn about features before use. Options allow you to add images, change text colors, and add notes. Limnu also offers a chat feature with a video room (available with Chrome, Fox, and Opera browsers). Free accounts get three boards with a seven-day expiration; however, educators receive free premium time after signing up and contacting Limnu through the educator form. Under Limnu's Privacy Policy it is stated that this site is designed for ages 13+. If using this in younger classrooms, it should remain a teacher-led activity only.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), drawing (78), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, so another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use a Limnu board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Limnu to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board.

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NBC Learn Free Resources - NBCUniversal Media, NBC News

Grades
5 to 12
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This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include...more
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This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include language arts, humanities and social sciences, and parenting information. The majority of videos feature STEM content. Specific sample topics include: Mysteries of the Brain, Writers Speak to Kids, Science of NFL Football, and many others. All videos include transcripts. Some have lesson plans and/or activities which are available in a side tab in the video window when launched. Most have closed captioning, and a few have a Spanish language option. The majority of NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, is fee-based. This review is for the free material.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), civil rights (117), news (261), olympics (47), pi (22), sports (96), STEM (134), sustainability (19), video (253)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for flipped or blended learning classrooms but will spark interest in most classroom lessons. Use the search box in the upper right corner to find free content of interest. NBC Learn uses a proprietary media player "Cue Card," and provides suggestions if you are having trouble playing. The whole class can watch the videos, many of which are parts of a series. Have individuals or small groups view and share information. The transcripts and close captioning will be helpful for struggling learners. Transcripts can be used alone for informational text reading practice.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

Grades
K to 12
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share ...more
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment using one of the five supported formats. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online. Since the free portion of Badge List is public, it is important for teachers to keep student identities anonymous. Use a code for the student name that is only known by the teacher. Also, be sure to obtain parent permission before using this tool with students. At the time of this review, stated by Badge List: "Badge List is currently developing simpler privacy settings to help K12 teachers protect student data. Until these features are released, teachers will need to take extra precautions to make sure that student data is safe."

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (134), game based learning (103), gamification (65), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Badge List to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace their login). Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (99), DAT device agnostic tool (196), game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), professional development (123), social media (16)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Classtools Countdown Timer - Classtools.net

Grades
K to 12
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to...more
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to your timer. Choose the Get Started button to begin and follow prompts to choose included music or select your own from any YouTube video. Click the save icon to receive a personalized URL for sharing.

tag(s): classroom management (134), counting (120), time (144)

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 the time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature 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. Select calming music for quiet times. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!

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Twitter Fictional Account Template - Ryan O'Donnell

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a...more
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a background for the wall and upload photos of known associates. As with any Google Doc, choose to share your creation in the upper right corner. See an example here. It is unfinished, so you can see how the directions are directly on the page, and you can get an idea of how it will look.

tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (166), creativity (109), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Engage students in classroom learning with the Twitter Fictional Account Template. This site is terrific for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Twitter account page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Create "followers" using other people associated with the main person who were famous at that time. You could use the "followers" boxes to create a mini-timeline. For the backgrounds of each user/follower, you could create a montage about what the person was famous for, or images from that period to establish a setting. Think about using the persons "nickname," if they have one, as their username. Use the Twitter template to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, and then share with students while studying the material. To use the Twitter template to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. Challenge students to use the template as an alternative for a book report. Have them present it orally, embellishing on each character's role in the book. For a unique twist in science class, make a Twitter template page for a periodic element or another science topic. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Twitter template page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make the Twitter template one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. If your students aren't familiar with Twitter, or if you're 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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Newsela - Students Vote 2016 - Matthew Gross

Grades
4 to 12
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes...more
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Create informed citizens and voters with Newsela's Student's Vote 2016. At their reading level, students learn about the candidates and vote in the "student primary." Newsela publishes high-interest news articles, from the best news sources, at five reading levels. See the TeachersFirst review here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

If you haven't already, sign up for Newsela and create your class. Add students by using a teacher (or parent) provided code rather than an email address. Go to the Election Text Sets and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading level versions. Be sure to set up a time for your students to vote on election day.

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Literary Devices - literarydevices.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Literary Devices offers definitions and examples of many different devices used in written work. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it offers colorful sprinkles of information...more
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Literary Devices offers definitions and examples of many different devices used in written work. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it offers colorful sprinkles of information and definitions. Browse through to explore the different terms, use the search box to find a specific device, or choose from popular literary devices listed on the left side of the homepage. After you choose a term, this site offers a complete definition along with many examples of its use in literature.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), literary devices (11)

In the Classroom

Writing and English teachers will want to bookmark this site for use throughout the school year! Share different devices with a projector or interactive whiteboard to help define and understand their use. Introduce a few terms each week for students to explore and find in their reading materials and to use in their writing. Have students create an online or printed comic using different literary devices. First, have students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Then, have students create a comic strip online using Write Comics, reviewed here.

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MarvellousMe - MarvellousMe

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive...more
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Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive behaviors through award badges. Quickly upload images, videos, or record a message to share using the dashboard tools. Adjust the settings to send messages to all parents or for private messages. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. MarvellousMe offers apps for all mobile devices and suggests using the Chrome browser for online use.

Please be aware that MarvellousMe falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use MarvellousMe with their child. Be sure to click the Privacy Center or Terms of Use link at the bottom of any page and read more about FERPA and MarvellousMe.

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use MarvellousMe to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to teachers or parents of special needs students. This tool could be invaluable for a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom.

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Channel One News: One Vote - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company

Grades
3 to 12
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics,...more
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics, and interactive pages. Find a delegate tracker and a field guide to the candidates (both interactive), a Presidential Trail Calendar and Results, information about One Vote's mock election, and more. Scrolling towards the bottom of the landing page you will find 60-second wrap-ups for each week, two quizzes about the importance of voting and where you stand, and various articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), news (261)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students know what the U.S. primaries are about and why voting is so important. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce One Vote to students. Set up a link on class computers, or at a learning center for students to take the two quizzes. They can learn about why each ballot counts and find a match to the candidate they lean towards. This will help them see where they stand on issues like taxes, immigration, and climate change. Each week show the 60-second wrap up and hold a discussion. Consider using a tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, so the quiet and shy students have a chance to participate in the discussion, too. View the information about mock elections to see if you would like to set one up for your class or school. Put a link to this site on your class webpage for students to use at home.
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