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CurriConnects Booklist: Bridges and Structures - Teachersfirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find books about bridges and structures in this list of fiction and non-fiction for student independent or group reading. Learn how bridges and other structures are built, the people...more
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Find books about bridges and structures in this list of fiction and non-fiction for student independent or group reading. Learn how bridges and other structures are built, the people behind them, and the risks some people take in pioneering new ways of building, using new materials, or thinking outside the building box. You will even find some stories of structures that failed. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all will inspire young designers and engineers. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): bridges (8), engineering (125), independent reading (126), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Make STEM a reading challenge. Share this list with students during your study of physics of structures, design, or basic concepts such as gravity. Have students choose a book they can connect to concepts you are studying in science class or have them choose a book of interest and generate a list of the questions they would like to learn about after reading the book. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills.

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For the Sake of Argument: Another Common Core Shift - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require that all students work to become independent writers of three types of texts: narrative, informational/explanatory, and opinion/argument and recommend that the time spent on each type in the elementary grades be roughly the same. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), expository writing (44), letter writing (21), persuasive writing (55), writing (358)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together, including read-alouds and writing activities to follow up. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it for ideas to integrate writing into science or social studies activities, especially for opportunities to have students write and/or read opinion/argument pieces.

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Lore - Lore.com

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6 to 12
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Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE....more
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Lore is created for instructors to design their own MOOC type courses without needing adoption by a whole school or district. Most importantly, creating a course is unbelievably SIMPLE. Not sure what a MOOC is? A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is (usually free), open course offered by a teacher or university for anyone willing to learn. It is a student and community centered place for learning developed by university students. In Lore, teachers control who is in the network through use of a class membership code. Course materials, tests, and grades can be added and managed through Lore. Teachers can contact students and decide what to make public or private. Students are able to interact with and learn from each other. Learning becomes more interactive and extends beyond the classroom. Lore also features a discussion area, calendar, library, and gradebook. Each student and teacher have profiles which others can follow. Teachers and students can create academic groups for learning. Teachers can create a group with other teachers to develop a PLN.

Not sure where to begin or not ready to start on your own? Use elements of ready-made courses at Lore to experiment and enrich your curriculum. Search through the popular courses to look at what other teachers and professors are offering.

tag(s): classroom management (134), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Chart Jungle - Wendy Shepherd

Grades
K to 4
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Find and print many useful charts at Chart Jungle. Topics include story starters, homework charts, reading logs, and more. Chart Jungle also includes alphabet and number flash cards...more
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Find and print many useful charts at Chart Jungle. Topics include story starters, homework charts, reading logs, and more. Chart Jungle also includes alphabet and number flash cards to print and use. Other interesting printables include the digestive system, clocks, and skeletons. Choose any chart to print directly from your computer. Although this site does include a lot of advertisements, there are many timesavers and treasures.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), classroom management (134), flash cards (46), handwriting (18), homework (44), organizational skills (122), presidents (130), printables (38), time (144)

In the Classroom

Use Chart Jungle as a resource for charts for use throughout the school year. Familiarize yourself with this site at the beginning of the school year. Use the reading chart for students to record the minutes spent reading at home. Use the homework charts to help your students stay organized. Share the flash cards link with parents to use at home.

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SMART Technology Sites - Arlys Peterson

Grades
K to 8
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This is an extensive "hotlist" of sites and lessons to be used on the SMART Board. In addition there are many tutorials to help you learn about the SMART Board. ...more
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This is an extensive "hotlist" of sites and lessons to be used on the SMART Board. In addition there are many tutorials to help you learn about the SMART Board. This collection covers mainly grades K-5 and all subject areas. However, there are also some resources for secondary level. The topics vary greatly, and the quantity of websites is impressive. Some items will require you to have Smart Board software installed on your computer to open the files. Some files will work using the SMART Notebook Express online viewer reviewed here. Some of the resources shared are created in the United Kingdom. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences. Please note: some of the resources are websites that could be used on any brand of interactive whiteboard (or computer) and are not strictly Smart Board resources.

tag(s): alphabet (92), audio books (32), grammar (216), human body (120), iwb (31), manipulatives (41), maps (288), money (193), order of operations (33), poetry (227), preK (279), probability (130), problem solving (272), resources (112), rounding (22), states (163)

In the Classroom

These lessons are great for the new SMART Board user or the seasoned pro. Stop and think before you start about how to use them in a student centered lesson, trying some of the lesson formats that help you avoid being "Vanna." View the lessons as is or use them to help you create your own lesson. Use the training videos to help your teaching peers and new SMART Board users learn how to use the SMART Board. Many of these tools could be used on any brand of Interactive Whiteboard.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Open Street Map - OpenStreetMap

Grades
6 to 12
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This open source, collaborative mapping site is known as the "Wikipedia of maps." This easily editable map is up to date as locations change (as they often do). The license ...more
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This open source, collaborative mapping site is known as the "Wikipedia of maps." This easily editable map is up to date as locations change (as they often do). The license just requires you to credit OpenStreetMap, and you can copy, download, and amend the maps without limitation.

tag(s): map skills (80), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use any part of this map for your school projects. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Copy, download, or alter maps as needed. The license requires crediting OpenStreetMap. Build completely new maps around a specific theme or concept, such as walking, hiking, bicycling, routes for those with disabilities, among others. Create projects traveling through various areas around various themes such as places to eat, sleep, or play. Students create stories about stopping in these places to share with others. If you teach geography, this one's a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. If you teach map skills or teach about how communities grow, be sure to share this map to show how maps can change when a new street or highway is built. If you have a new road in your area, show the difference between this map and older ones that can be found online. Challenge students to compare this map to others.
 

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Women in World History - Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Grades
10 to 12
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Women in World History offers sophisticated, high-level learning opportunities for exploration and research into the role of women throughout the world. Choose website reviews to find...more
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Women in World History offers sophisticated, high-level learning opportunities for exploration and research into the role of women throughout the world. Choose website reviews to find scholarly reviews of online archives and resources. View more than 200 primary sources with essays analyzing gender. View case studies from teachers discussing primary sources. Classroom modules offer lesson plans for several topics: the British Empire, Western Views of Chinese Women, and the Soviet Dictatorship. The lesson plans include everything you need: ways to differentiate the lesson, objectives, materials, time needed, and additional strategies.

tag(s): 1600s (11), 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 20th century (51), africa (180), asia (73), central america (13), europe (75), great britain (16), north america (19), russia (38), south america (39), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use modules from this site to supplement current teaching materials. If you are teaching about primary sources, be sure to share that part of this website. Students can search by region: Africa, The Americas, East Asia, Europe, Mid-East/North Africa, Russia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. Information on this site is written at a very high level. Use this with gifted and AP students as a source for research information or extended lessons in current content.

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ESL Games World - eslgamesworld.com

Grades
1 to 12
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges,...more
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges, and reading activities. Some of the featured activities include Snakes and Ladders, Hangman, and Wheel of Fortune games/templates. Some spelling appears to be different from Standard American English. Check to be sure. Avoid the online store section to stay with free activities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), verbs (41), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Find ways to assist your ESL/ELL students in an engaging way! You can also use many of the games to reinforce basic skills with native speakers. Customize some of the activities for the content areas you are studying. Use as a whole class activity on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to practice vocabulary, grammar, and content. Add as a resource for ESL/ELL learning or even struggling readers. Ideas and materials are gathered in one spot to help you reduce the time you need to meet your ESL/ELL students' differentiated needs. Add this link to your class website or share with parents as a resource.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Synonyms and Antonyms - Learning Today

Grades
4 to 6
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This simple interactive provides practice with synonyms and antonyms for vocabulary in an engaging manner. Hints are provided. Go beyond vocabulary matching and dig deeper into the...more
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This simple interactive provides practice with synonyms and antonyms for vocabulary in an engaging manner. Hints are provided. Go beyond vocabulary matching and dig deeper into the word meanings.

tag(s): antonyms (26), synonyms (38), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use Synonyms and Antonyms at a center or share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use as a model for your current vocabulary words. Have students find synonyms and antonyms for your words. Students can also create sentences for each vocabulary word. This is an excellent way to improve word study skills. Use in your writing class to remind students to use spicy vocabulary words. Use this site to increase your students' vocabulary, the key to improving reading comprehension!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Noun Project - The Noun Project

Grades
K to 12
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images...more
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images that do not change or become fuzzy when you resize them. Communicating visually is powerful and easy using symbols like these. Move beyond language and cultural barriers in learning and communicating by using these symbols. You must set up a free account to actually download. Note: Many programs cannot use the file format (SVG) but some programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, can. Don't have a program to open the image? Download the image, then upload to the Media Converter (reviewed here) to convert the image. No need to open the file- just convert! Note that the use of these vector images is FREE if the artist(s) attribution is easily viewable and accessible (linked back to the artist's page on the Noun Project site). Many images are in the public domain with no attribution required. Ethical use would still give credit. If you do not want to attribute each time it is used, icons can be purchased for unlimited use instead. Be patient. This site is often SLOW to open and offers slow downloads because of the larger image files.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), graphic design (35), images (265), infographics (42), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

The symbols are useful for autistic support, emotional support, ESL/ELL, and even in world languages. Use these vector diagrams for creating infographics and pictograms in any content area. Use a site such as Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to tell a rebus-style story using simple symbols only. This is a fun and imaginative way for students to think creatively. Use these symbols to create classroom signs. Teach students digital citizenship along with creativity by learning to give credit for resources used as they explain. Try using icons like these in the navigation area of a wiki or class website instead of words to increase the accessibility to others. Be sure to include this site as a list of resources for students to use on your wiki or class website. Students can access images to tell their story or to relate/teach content to others. Encourage students to create their own symbols for use in telling a story (great if students have access to programs that can create vector images). Special ed teachers may want to use these symbols on communication boards. Note: since file downloads are slow, you may want to download a collection for your specific lesson or project outside of class time and offer the files to students locally in a shared folder or on a class wiki. Teachers of non-readers will find these symbols useful in making classroom rules or signs.

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Word Search Builder - PedagoNet.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a word search in a few easy steps. You can choose the size of the puzzle (10 x 10 to 100 x 100) as well as how many words ...more
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Create a word search in a few easy steps. You can choose the size of the puzzle (10 x 10 to 100 x 100) as well as how many words the puzzle contains. You can also choose the highlight color, background color, font size and "word management." Word management allows you the choice of words being forward and backward, diagonal, up and down, and more. Options allow for the puzzle to be played online or printed out.

tag(s): puzzles (208), spelling (168), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to help students review spelling words or other content related vocabulary. Change the font to a larger size and print it out for young children or students that have vision issues. Have students create word searches for other students to take. Learning support teachers might want to have partners create word searches as a review activity for terms.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids Magnetic Poetry Kit - McDonagh Brothers

Grades
K to 5
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Create and play with poetry using the magnetic poetry kit! Drag words from the word bank onto the blank board to build poems. Click the more words option to find ...more
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Create and play with poetry using the magnetic poetry kit! Drag words from the word bank onto the blank board to build poems. Click the more words option to find additional words for use. When finished, save and share to Facebook or via email using the form provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (227), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard for students to create. Use this site to practice sight words. The magnetic poetry kit would make an excellent center activity for use during Poetry Month. Create a shortcut on classroom computers and let students create their own poems. Share completed poems on a class bulletin board or your class website. Take a screenshot of the completed poems to remember them (PrntScrn button, then PASTE on a WIndows machine or Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save a screenshot). View all of TeachersFirst's Editor's Choices for Poetry Month here.

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Art Lessons and Lesson Plans - Ken Rohrer

Grades
K to 12
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick ...more
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick from sub-categories such as type of medium, art period, or artist. One particularly useful category is by integration: ideas you can choose for lessons in subjects such as health, science, or language arts. Once you choose a lesson title, specific details include materials used, appropriate age levels, instructions, and images of projects. Many, but not all lessons also include correlation to national standards. Click on the printer friendly link to print lessons without all the clutter on the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), artists (75), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), insects (69), japan (61), native americans (78), origami (17), painting (66), preK (279), recycling (57), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for art projects throughout the year, especially if budget cuts have taken away your art teacher! Be sure to check out the link to Sub Lessons. Print and save a couple of these to have in your substitute folder for use if necessary. Share with your art teacher (if you have one) as a resource.

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Shutter Cal - ShutterCal.com

Grades
K to 12
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password,...more
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password, and user name. Click on the date, upload an image, add a caption, then submit. ShutterCal resizes the image and places it into the calendar. Share your calendar using the unique url provided. Embed into your website or blog using the code offered under the "My stuff" link. Premium features allow your calendar to be private; however, that isn't included with the free membership. This is a public site that isn't moderated. So preview any other calendars you plan to share.

tag(s): calendars (44), images (265)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to share your school year! Create a ShutterCal calendar to embed into your classroom blog or website. Forget a day? No problem, just click on the date and upload as usual. Have your student of the week be responsible for taking pictures for that week's calendar (and for uploading if savvy). This is a public site and content is not moderated. Take precautions when allowing students to view other calendars. In primary grades, a teacher can prepare a calendar for parents to access at home and have children talk about what they have learned. During science units, document the plants you grow or the labs you do using images on a daily calendar. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can create calendars together with students to provide ways to practice oral language retelling events. Teacher-librarians can create calendars with a book a day or research questions shown as images.

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Bundlr - Filipe Batista and Sergio Santos

Grades
K to 12
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Bundlr allows you to curate, clip, aggregate, and share web content easily and instantly. Collect content on your own or collaborate with other Bundlr users to add sites to bundles....more
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Bundlr allows you to curate, clip, aggregate, and share web content easily and instantly. Collect content on your own or collaborate with other Bundlr users to add sites to bundles. Sign up with Bundlr using Twitter or Facebook to begin. Drag the bookmarklet to your toolbar or install the browser extension. Add pages, images, tweets, and more to your bundles by clicking the Bundle button. Add notes to bundles or invite others to collaborate. Share finished bundles with the share button provided to popular social media sites or via email. This site is NOT moderated for school use. Please PREVIEW before you share.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Not ready to create your own bundles? Explore the site for ready-made bundles created by others for many topics. This site is not moderated, so it is best to explore on your own to locate bundles then share your appropriate findings. Share bundles on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Create bundles for any content or topic to share with students on your web page or blog. In primary grades, you can create bundles for different types of practice activities, even for non-readers. With older students, create a class account and allow students to add websites, images, tweets, and information to bundles, giving them the opportunity to curate and provide information on any subject. Talk about how to curate and decide which sites should be included and which ones excluded.

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Infotopia - Dr. Michael Bell and Carole Bell

Grades
2 to 12
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This free tool is an academic search engine that uses resources trusted by educators. Choose from various subjects at the top or enter your search term directly into the search ...more
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This free tool is an academic search engine that uses resources trusted by educators. Choose from various subjects at the top or enter your search term directly into the search bar. Infotopia uses a Google Custom search to find information that is appropriate for students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students in class. Have students use this site for research. Be sure to link to this site on your blog, wiki, or class website. Make this site the home page for your classroom computer.

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FileLab Audio Editor - FileLab.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
FileLab audio editor allows you to edit, clean up, and apply effects to many types of audio files. This site/application will only run on Microsoft Windows operating systems....more
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FileLab audio editor allows you to edit, clean up, and apply effects to many types of audio files. This site/application will only run on Microsoft Windows operating systems. Launch the editor and download the FileLab app through the provided link. Upload any audio file from your computer to begin. Choose from audio effects such as amplify, fade, delay, reverse and more to edit changes. Add changes with the Generate tab such as silence, noises, signals, and chirps. Trim your audio to any length desired. When complete, choose the make audio button to save to your computer in one of many common formats. Sign in is required to save audio files using Facebook, Google, or Yahoo.

tag(s): editing (60)

In the Classroom

Record your class singing or compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound to be included with PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing project to record stories for selected images. Record speeches, create podcasts, record students learning world languages, create radio advertisements as part of a writing project, the ideas are endless!

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Love Your Dog - Janet and Rick Wall

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the world of canine love. Find information on dogs, training, choosing a name, breed information, and more about raising a puppy/dog. Much of the information includes short video...more
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Enter the world of canine love. Find information on dogs, training, choosing a name, breed information, and more about raising a puppy/dog. Much of the information includes short video clips. You will also find poetry, book lists, and lesson plans to accompany books about dogs. Some of the books included: Because of Winn Dixie, Call of the Wild, Old Yellar, The Incredible Journey, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, Love that Dog, Sounder, and White Fang . Some of the videos require the QuickTime plug-in.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276)

In the Classroom

Use as a comprehensive resource site for career day, with detailed information on dog care and careers. Use the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a way to illustrate a "how to" report. Capture the hearts of your reluctant readers with dog stories and engaging lesson plans. Write poetry and join the dog lovers' community. Use as resource information for science projects. Explore the role of therapy dogs in your career exploration. Use as an example for detailed reports on animals for your class. Have students make their own multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Plagtracker - Plagtracker

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online ...more
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Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online immediately, or they may be emailed within 15 minutes. Our test showed that the email took a little over 15 minutes and included a log-in password to view the results. The report tells how much of the writing is non-unique and how many sources the writing can be found in. By clicking on the highlighted sentences, the report will list all the sources where the highlighted portion can be found. Plagtracker works with six different languages, checks 14 billion web pages, and has access to university databases. It can check over 5 million academic papers. You do not have to sign up for an account to occasionally check written work. However, signing up for a free account allows you to save a report for a week, monitor the status of submitted documents, and review the history of all your plagiarism reports. On the site's blog, you will find true stories about plagiarism. The site does NOT take ownership of your submitted work. They do try to "sell" their services to help you improve your paper.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (47), digital citizenship (58), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this program to check student papers for originality, but why not introduce this program to your students and have them take responsibility to check their work themselves? Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This would work beautifully if the class studied or reviewed copyright and plagiarism before assigning a report. On Plagtracker's blog you can find true stories about people who have plagiarized. It might be a good idea to share the stories with your students. You might even want students to "test" several examples of plagiarized writing in small groups as an exercise for students to check and correct. Ideally this should happen before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Let's Make Compound Words - Ministry of Education, Toronto Canada

Grades
1 to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If ...more
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Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If the two words correctly create a compound word those images disappear. When all images are used, the next activity appears (dragging compound words to complete sentences.) Click the link next to the sentence to hear the sentence read aloud. When finished, reset to complete activities again. The site originates in Canada, so keep an eye out for spelling variations. Our editors also noticed that creative users may come up with alternative compound words that the site may not "think of," such as shoefly. These less common options do not work.

tag(s): word study (80)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector or allow students to navigate it on their own on classroom computers. Have students use the compound words provided to begin a collection of compound words that they already know and post to a tool such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board display compound words.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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