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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), ebooks (41), writing (358)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), digital storytelling (142), editing (60), images (265)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Comments4Kids - William Chamberlain

Grades
6 to 12
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant,...more
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We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. Comments4Kids provides that audience. There are four rules for commenting on others' blogs: be relevant, be positive, comment only when you have something to say, and always use good conventions (grammar, spelling, punctuation). Explore 5 Smart Ways to get Comments4Kids on your blog, read the Rule of Return, and learn how one teacher manages his students' comments on others' blogs. Back on the main page, click the link to see how another teacher manages blogs and also testimonials from several different professionals about why creating an audience for writing is necessary. Then, start by adding your class blog or your blog to the registration area. Consider Tweeting the blog address under the comments4kids hashtag when you want your students to have a commenting audience. On Twitter, type in #comments4kids, to see the current activity.

tag(s): blogs (88), writing (358)

In the Classroom

If your students blog, you may want to consider using Comments4Kids to encourage them to do their best writing, proofread, and learn how to tactfully and meaningfully comment on others' writing. You might want to consider using the hashtag #comments4kids in your Tweets. Read the 5 Smart Ways To Get Comments4Kids page to learn more. If you are interested in blogging but never have, you might want to check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics For the Classroom. You also may want to use prompts from Thought Questions, reviewed here, as an easy way to get kids writing blogs. There are many other ideas for your students to blog about such as having science students display photos and information about lab work or research findings of a famous scientist. Language arts students can write about the main character in a book. Have literature circle groups create one blog to present the book and its different characters. Create blogs for current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics such as plants.

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PARCC Practice Tests - English and Math - Pearson Education

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers practice tests for grades 3-11 in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. Choose one content area to begin, and then select a grade level. Find many options...more
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This site offers practice tests for grades 3-11 in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. Choose one content area to begin, and then select a grade level. Find many options within each grade level for online or paper tests, Spanish and Braille, and large print for visually impaired students.

tag(s): test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use as a teaching tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector to help students understand how standardized tests will look. Continue to use individually or as small group instruction. Share a link to practice tests on your class website for use at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Storyberries - Jade Maitre

Grades
K to 5
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions...more
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions submitted through the site. Browse through the home page to find popular stories or use the links at the top of the page to search by age, topic, or moral taught. One great feature is the ability to find stories by length from five minutes through chapter books. Each story also includes additional questions to use for further discussion.

tag(s): book lists (126), short stories (25), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Storyberries as an excellent resource for short read alouds or as a source for stories relating to many different emotions and themes. Share a link on your class website or newsletter for parents to use at home. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you read aloud for students to follow along; occasionally stop and allow students to read portions of the book. Use this site as a resource for additional reading materials in the classroom by creating a link on classroom computers.

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Makewaves - Mark and Tim Riches

Grades
1 to 12
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of ...more
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of teachers and students. Audio and video uploads are limited to 30 minutes and you can create three badges. Use personalized badges to create your own missions that relate to classroom studies or current events. Take advantage of the many badges already available on the site. The teacher dashboard allows teachers to monitor and manage student content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (134), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Create a class account as a tool for sharing and publishing student creations on Makewave's secure platform. Even if you aren't ready to join Makewave, take advantage of the many lessons and badge activities to incorporate into your teaching units. Share Makewave with parents as a resource for individual learning projects for their student.

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Connect Fours - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or ...more
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or phrases that will fit into four or more categories. After clicking "Create a New Quiz" you can upload a CVS spreadsheet or simply type in the words. Clicking Help, Example, or Submit will bring up directions for the exact formatting needed to have for the successful creation of a quiz. Don't forget to title your quiz! Save the URL or bookmark it to share it with others. Tip: when clicking the cards they ding. You may want to turn the sound down on the computer.

tag(s): game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create a Connect Fours game with various aspects of information about curriculum content to share with students. Develop activities to review any topic and save for use as a classroom center. Have students create review Connect Fours as a study tool. Be sure to demonstrate how to make and share Create Fours before having students set up their own. Ideas for categorization activities are unlimited, but can include categorizing types of animals, literary elements in novels, habitats, characteristics of geographic areas, and much more.

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Call Me Ishmael - Logan Smalley & Stephanie Kent

Grades
6 to 12
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Call Me Ishmael is a charming site that celebrates books and life through a very simple concept. Call the phone number on the site and leave a voicemail about a ...more
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Call Me Ishmael is a charming site that celebrates books and life through a very simple concept. Call the phone number on the site and leave a voicemail about a book you love and a story you have lived. Three times a week calls are transcribed and shared with viewers of the site. Browse through the latest entries or enter a keyword into the search to find specific content. 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. If you plan to allow students to call Ishmael, be certain to obtain parent consent and check with your school's policy to ensure this type of communication is permitted, even with parental permission.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (126), family (59), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Share Call Me Ishmael on your interactive whiteboard to listen to story reviews together with your class. Use these prompts as examples and models of information to include with book reviews. Be sure to visit the prompts link on the site for a list of ideas in which books may shape your life. Use this site as a model and have students create an annotated image book review, including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to create their own videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to share a link to Call Me Ishmael on your class website for students to use as a resource for finding reading materials.

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newhive - Zach Verdin, Cara Bucciferro, Abram Clark

Grades
2 to 12
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then ...more
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then see a blank white slate to start. Easily add text, images, video, audio, files, and shapes. Once you are finished adding content, save to your account by giving your multimedia project a title and tags. Then decide if you want it public or searchable. This tool is simple, quick, and easy to use. The tool requires that a member be age 13 or older.

tag(s): multimedia (57), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Students can use newhive to demonstrate learning of any kind across grade levels and content areas. They can practice good digital citizenship by citing images, videos, and online content properly or use student-created images, videos, and other content. Use this tool as a portfolio for any subject. Art, music, and language arts are naturals for collecting original student work, but what about science? Students can photograph experiments and write up labs and post to newhive for their portfolio. Teachers can use the site as a jump page to guide a lesson or create WebQuests. Make a work prototype page and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. The uses for this tool are wide open!

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shortText - shortText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use ...more
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use as desired. Options allow users to include a link to a video or image, allow comments, or make the message private.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), writers workshop (31), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use shortText for quick writing projects on an interactive whiteboard or projector. When modeling writing or notetaking in class, open shortText instead of a word document! Enabling comments would allow students to ask questions about the assignment. When finished, share on your class website using the URL created. Have students use shortText in your classroom when using mobile devices to write a short journal entry or exit ticket at the end of a lesson. Be sure to give students the URL for this and have them identify themselves, so you don't end up with 30 URLs to open and assess. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Have students write about how they solved a math problem and include an image of their work. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using shortText and share the URL on a class wiki.

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Blab (Beta) - Shaan Puri & Furqan Rydhan

Grades
9 to 12
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Watch live conversations or create your own discussions with Blab. Sign in with your Twitter account to start your own Blab on Firefox or Chrome browsers. Click "Start a New ...more
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Watch live conversations or create your own discussions with Blab. Sign in with your Twitter account to start your own Blab on Firefox or Chrome browsers. Click "Start a New Blab" and send the URL for others to join you. Use the settings to record your Blab if desired. To get ideas for how Blab works, view Blabs created by other users by scrolling through the home page or use the search bar to find specific topics. Two to four people can participate in a Blab, and others can call in with comments and questions. Blabs shared on the site are not moderated, so use caution before sharing with students.

tag(s): chat (51), social media (16), video (253)

In the Classroom

Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to other countries. Students interested in graphic design can connect with an expert or artist far away and share current work in a virtual critique. Connect students with mentors or older students for help with homework. Students working together for a presentation or literature circles can practice, discuss, and communicate easily. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Whole buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Dotstorming - Gareth Marland

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and...more
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and VOTING on any topic. The voting is what makes this tool different. Create an account. There is no waiting for email approval. Add a board, title, select how many votes the participants will have (up to 10), and start adding posts with text, images, and video. Add images and video via URL or upload from your computer. When participants join, they give their name. Participants can add posts. Names of participants using the board appear below the chat box. Participants name's appear when they make a comment in the chat. However, comments on posts don't have the participant name. Once the board is complete, the creator can finalize the board so no new ideas can be posted, but the voting feature is still open.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), gamification (65), images (265)

In the Classroom

Share your board with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Put the URL link on your website for students to access. If you don't want to share the link that way, then use a tool such as Google URL Shortener, reviewed here, for students to type in (and reduce input mistakes). You may want to think about students using only their first name or their code to participate. Dotstorming does not show which posts belong to which student, so you may want to require that students identify their post and comment by putting their initials, their first name, or their code on their contributions to get credit. If you plan to allow all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss Internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences.

Use Dotstorming to collect WebQuest links and information to share with students. Assign a student project. For example, have students create a board about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a board around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. The voting is perfect for that idea! Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a board. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use Dotstorming to create a board with class news and updates.

Use Dotstorming as an "idea bin" where students can collect ideas, images, quotes, and more for a project. Require them to share a brainstorming Dotstorming board to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and rank by votes) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or a "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Dotstorming as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

Use Dotstorming as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Have students submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on.

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Brain Doodles - Thomas Michaud

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn more about taking visual notes at Brain Doodles. Find lesson plans, examples, and videos to help improve your memory; do this with doodles and using the senses of sight, ...more
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Learn more about taking visual notes at Brain Doodles. Find lesson plans, examples, and videos to help improve your memory; do this with doodles and using the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. This site is actually more than a learn to doodle site. It's more like drawing lessons to help you think. Find lessons about using letters and numbers for images, drawing stick figures, faces and emotions, memory techniques, problem-solving, and how to listen effectively (so important!). There are several videos per lesson. Roll your cursor over the lesson boxes to see titles of videos in a pop-up box. Download the complete lessons in PDF format. If you're not a doodler, maybe you should be! In an article published in "Applied Cognitive Psychology" Jackie Andrade, a professor at the University of Plymouth, stated doodlers find it easier to recall dull information (29 percent more) than non-doodlers.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), drawing (78), listening (91), note taking (32), organizational skills (122), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, explaining some of the research behind doodling, memory techniques, and listening. Students love to draw so focus their attention on drawing to learn by setting up a station/center for students to rotate through during any other stations/centers you might have for math, science, history, writing, and more. If you don't use stations, you may want to include a short lesson as an opener or closer each day. Students could finish the day's lesson at home by putting a link to Brain Doodles on your class website for students and parents to access. Now that's homework your students will be motivated to learn!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OmniLibros - Carthage College Center for Children's Literature

Grades
K to 12
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Find recently published (since 2010) English-language children's literature that promotes global understanding through this annotated bibliography. Choose the Indices tab to search...more
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Find recently published (since 2010) English-language children's literature that promotes global understanding through this annotated bibliography. Choose the Indices tab to search by title or grade level. Narrow the search using the keyword search tool. Be sure to check out the Book Map, and find books by country. Click on the marker on the country to view and go to those resources.

tag(s): book lists (126), cross cultural understanding (115), literacy (103), maps (288)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for finding reading material with settings from all over the world. Encourage students to choose a place that interests them, and then find books set in that location. Use this tool as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard about setting or geography. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class website or blog for students to use at home.

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Outwhiz - Andrew Kwan and Michael Luk

Grades
K to 8
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up...more
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up with email. At the time of this review, the math levels are for grades K-8, and the English levels are 1-6, with the promise of grades 7-12 coming soon. Outwhiz, in a nutshell, is adaptive learning, analytics for parents and teachers, gamification, and includes a real-life rewards store all for FREE!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (134), critical thinking (108), DAT device agnostic tool (196), differentiation (47), game based learning (103), gamification (65), grammar (216), problem solving (272), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

The gamification of the material on Outwhiz is sure to catch your student's interest! Sign up using your email and create a class. Give students the URL and class code to join. At the end of an introduction of a concept, use this site for specific language arts or math practice. Use Outwhiz for homework, review, and reinforcement of any math or language arts concept. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Create a link to Outwhiz on classroom computers to use as math and language arts centers/stations. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for math and language practice at home. Share this site as a way to review before tests. ESL/ELL and resource teachers will find Outwhiz to be extremely helpful for reinforcing language and math concepts.

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Ocenaudio - ocenaudio

Grades
K to 12
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Ocenaudio is easy to use software for editing audio. Download the software to any major operating system such as Windows, Mac, or Linux. Use prompts to navigate the software using ...more
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Ocenaudio is easy to use software for editing audio. Download the software to any major operating system such as Windows, Mac, or Linux. Use prompts to navigate the software using a large variety of audio files. Trim, copy, and paste audio or choose from an assortment of effects. When finished, save the file in the format of your choice. Be sure to see the features link on the site for complete information on the capabilities of the software.

tag(s): editing (60), sound (100)

In the Classroom

Use Ocenaudio in early grades to promote literacy by recording your students and creating an audio portfolio record of their reading. Use this tool with ESL/ELL students to practice fluency and hear themselves speak. Use Ocenaudio to record parents, principals, lunch ladies, librarians, relatives, and bus drivers all telling a favorite class story. During writing time, allow students freedom from the pencil to express their true creative voices. Also, dabble into digital storytelling to create a lesson in adding voice, emotion, and characterization. Record audio interviews at local nursing homes, fire stations, or museums to recollect times such as wars, the Great Depression, Civil Rights Movements, or as a primary source during memorable events. Record world language conversations as a student project. Make music class or the school band a gold recording!

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Doodle.ly - Darren Paul and Evan Vogel

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Doodle.ly is a quick and easy to use drawing tool. Click Doodle Now in the upper right corner to begin drawing. Use tools located at the bottom of the screen ...more
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Doodle.ly is a quick and easy to use drawing tool. Click Doodle Now in the upper right corner to begin drawing. Use tools located at the bottom of the screen to draw with pencil, crayon, marker, and more. Change colors by clicking the color bar. When finished, click Publish to save your drawing with options to share on Twitter or Facebook. Doodle.ly works on the web and iOS7 (at the time of this review). Doodle.ly automatically loads popular drawings when loading the home page, be sure to check for inappropriate content before sharing with students.

tag(s): colors (79), drawing (78), painting (66)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have computers or iPads in the classroom, this application will work well for collaborative illustrations. Have each student add a different part of a story for retelling or summarizing main events while others watch and share additional information. Have students create simple math problems while another student solves. Sketch out plans for visual projects, brainstorm freehand, or even create collaborative diagrams to accompany lab reports.

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Keith Hughes Teaching Stuff YouTube Playlist - Keith Hughes

Grades
K to 12
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students...more
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students on Test Day, Teaching Advice for Dummies, and The Art of the Lecture. Most videos run ten minutes or less making them easy to watch and share. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), mentoring (12), professional development (123), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Include videos during back to school preparation and planning with other staff members. Share with your student teacher as an excellent repository of teaching advice. Use these videos as examples for creating your own videos to share with your teaching colleagues.

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Mega Seating Plan - Rob Cowen

Grades
K to 12
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Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a...more
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Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a random seating arrangement or boy/girl setup. Drag and Drop students to adjust as you like. Include additional data, if desired, on the spreadsheet to show on your seating plan such as reading level or current grades.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Use this site at the beginning of the year to create a seating chart for your classroom. Use the drag and drop technology to configure the desks the way you want them. Trying to separate the most social students? Experiment with different seating layouts until you find the one you think might work. This tool will also make useful diagrams for your sub plans. Flip your classroom a new way by having students "design" a dream classroom as part of a math lesson on measurement or a lesson on simple map skills. Suddenly, the classroom tool becomes a student tool!

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eReader's Theater - Firefly eLearning

Grades
2 to 8
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Take Reader's Theater to the next level with free resources from eReader's Theater. Click the Teaching Resources tab to find teaching tips, downloadable assessments, and graphic organizers....more
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Take Reader's Theater to the next level with free resources from eReader's Theater. Click the Teaching Resources tab to find teaching tips, downloadable assessments, and graphic organizers. Check out the Costumes tab for ideas and tips for making costumes and props for your Reader's Theater productions. The scripts aren't free.

tag(s): costumes (6), crafts (40), plays (37), readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Search this site for some new ideas to use in your classroom. Take advantage of the free resources to energize your Reader's Theater activities. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of their productions and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. If you or your school librarian are trying to create a "maker center," the Costumes tab has many projects to build that aren't just costumes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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