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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 (97), 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 (135), 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 (100), DAT device agnostic tool (199), 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 (135), 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 (145)

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.
This site includes advertising.

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
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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...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 (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Journeys in Film - Journeys in Film and USC Rossier School of Education

Grades
8 to 12
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area,...more
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Journeys in Film provides lesson plans for teaching cultural and global understanding through movies. Use links to download lessons including correlation to standards by subject area, global issue, or culture. This site doesn't provide access to films used in lessons, but it does share options for renting. Other downloads include discussion guides for films with accompanying clips available on the Journeys in Film site.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), holocaust (39), journalism (46), movies (64), video (253), women (101)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans for classroom use. These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about their understanding of issues, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world. Use Today's News, reviewed here, to see editorials and news clippings that are not of American origin. If you'd like to to create your own clips from these films try using a tool like EDPuzzle, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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New York Times Spanish Edition - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Read New York Times articles and original content in Spanish with this site. The information ranges from politics, global news, business, technology - even pop culture. Reading this...more
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Read New York Times articles and original content in Spanish with this site. The information ranges from politics, global news, business, technology - even pop culture. Reading this version of the NY Times will be useful in any Spanish language classroom as well as for ESL/ELL students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (261), newspapers (94), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for advanced Spanish language learners for current events projects or for ESL/ELL students to stay up to date on current events- assign students different weeks throughout the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter, keeping their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what's going on via this news site, and present a short presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own news videos using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 50 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (199), parent conferences (22), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

Grades
K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (72), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
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OneNote - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies...more
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Microsoft's OneNote, a downloadable app, keeps all notes, emails, drawings, photographs, and more organized into folders on a page in different sections of a "notebook." Drag copies of files or documents from your computer into OneNote. Share and collaborate with others. Access your OneNote account by signing in to any computer or device.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use OneNote for all notes, ideas, and photographs in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of OneNote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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Great Expectations - National Braille Press

Grades
K to 5
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Promote active reading experiences using the ideas found at Great Expectations. This site is for the visually impaired, but you'll find the ideas and advice can apply to any young ...more
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Promote active reading experiences using the ideas found at Great Expectations. This site is for the visually impaired, but you'll find the ideas and advice can apply to any young reader. Use songs, tactile play, and more from the lessons developed for the three children's picture books on this site. The popular books featured areThe Day the Crayons Quit, Dragons Love Tacos, and Pete the Cat- Rocking in My School Shoes. Watch for three more titles with engaging activities, coming soon.

tag(s): adaptations (17), preK (281), reading comprehension (116), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans when reading stories to your class. These books and activities are not only good to use with visually impaired students; any student will love the different activities. These activities will help ESL/ELL students understand some of the language employed in the books. In your regular or inclusive classroom, you may want to consider making centers for a featured book using some of the activities listed here. Challenge older students to use the ideas developed for these books with their favorite childhood book for a younger sibling or "buddy."

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ThemeSpark (Beta) - David Hunter

Grades
K to 12
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes...more
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes the ability to add a hook, information to learn, practice, and application activity. When finished, download the lesson in an easy to use format. Be sure to watch the QuickStart Lesson Builder video and read through the FAQ section on the site for full information about creating lessons and using ThemeSpark. If your district blocks YouTube, the 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 video from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (100), professional development (123), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use ThemeSpark for all of your lesson planning. Copy and paste current lesson plans to Theme Spark to match to standards. Collaborate with peers to create and develop standards-based lessons for your entire curriculum. This is perfect for when you need to have a sub, and for those teachers who must have a week of lesson plans on their desk for an administrator.

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Sign Generator - Ryland Sanders

Grades
K to 12
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Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail...more
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Create a personalized sign using the many templates offered on the Sign Generator. Options include personalized cakes, cartoon characters, movie marquees, and much more. Click the thumbnail of the design you want, add your text into the provided lines, and click the link to finish. Your personalized sign appears on a popup image ready to save onto your computer.
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tag(s): graphic design (35), images (266), photography (160), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Create signs to include with multimedia projects. Customize a sign for use on your interactive whiteboard with directions for seat work or to introduce students presenting projects to the class. Have students use the images to give short story summaries using only four to six words. Create a set of class rules using one of the templates, and then print and post them on a bulletin board.
 

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Big Ideas Video Series - Class Dojo

Grades
K to 8
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at ...more
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The Big Ideas Series, offer by ClassDojo, provides a five part video series encouraging students to explore different ways to discover a growth mindset. Each topic takes a look at a secret of the brain and how to use this science to improve learning. Ideas within videos discuss concepts such as the magic of mistakes and taking tasks a little at a time. Each short video includes a discussion guide to download for classroom use and a page with take-home questions for parent use. 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.

tag(s): brain (72), emotions (35), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Share videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard with students. Introduce a video each week and explore the discussion questions together. These videos could be very useful when preparing and motivating students for upcoming standardized testing or at the beginning of a school year to set a tone that everyone can learn. Include a link to videos on your class web page for parents to discuss at home with their student, and be sure to send home the take-home questions with topics to talk about.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zeetings - Zeetings

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited...more
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Zeetings is a presentation tool that allows your participants to participate! Have up to 100 participants per Zeeting. The basic account includes some terrific features including unlimited polls, videos, embeds, web links, and unlimited uploads of PowerPoint and PDFs. Sign up is quick with no waiting for an email invite. Give your account a URL name (keep it simple) and begin constructing your presentation right away. Once you broadcast the presentation (by URL or code), all participants will be on the same page as you. When you turn the page; theirs will turn, too.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), multimedia (57), polls and surveys (48), video (253)

In the Classroom

What a cool way to have all students at the same place in your lesson! Additionally, they can ask questions, answer a poll, or watch a video, all in real time. Any subject teacher can take advantage of this powerful tool! Introduce Zeetings to your class(es) with your projector to show them all the features, then have them learn and participate by logging into your presentation. Have students use Zeetings when presenting orally to the class. Have them incorporate web links and videos, with a quiz (survey) at the end. The survey will tell them who was paying attention or better yet if their presentation was clear and interesting.

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