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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Power Up Your Images - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants will learn about the features of these three tools and then participate in a breakout session to learn more about the tool of their choosing. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): images (265)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to use images in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Classroom Freebies - Charity Preston

Grades
K to 8
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The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management...more
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The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management charts, coloring sheets, worksheets, and posters. Use the search bar to find specific content or browse using links to grade level content and topics such as the End of the Year and Common Core Freebies. Follow links for directions about downloading materials.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), book reports (36), classroom management (134), commoncore (92), posters (36), preK (279), substitutes (21), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Classroom Freebies as an excellent resource for teaching materials throughout the school year. Take advantage of the free printables for use on bulletin boards, for classroom management, and centers. Choose materials from the site to use in substitute folders. Be sure to share this site with your fellow teachers! You might consider finding snow day and vacation day activities to post on your class website for parent and student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adobe Spark - Adobe

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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Vocabulist (Beta) - Ahan Malhotra

Grades
4 to 12
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process....more
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process. When finished Vocabulist provides a list with each word and its definition. Choose the correct definition when necessary from drop boxes or provide your own definition. When finished, export as a PDF to your computer or directly into Quizlet, reviewed here, to use as flashcards.

tag(s): flash cards (46), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Vocabulist is perfect for differentiated learning. Create individual student vocabulary and spelling lists based on student needs. Create lists for difficult vocabulary from any text or for any subject. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to use at home to create study guides throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Blended Learning Implementation Guide - John Bailey, Scott Ellis, Carri Schneider, & Tom Vander Ark

Grades
K to 12
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics...more
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics of blended learning with infographics, links to videos, and specific instructions for blended learning instructors. Other topics include suggestions on purchasing devices for use, questions to consider when lecturing, and resources for funding. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Print and share this guide as an excellent resource when implementing blended learning in your classroom or school. Be sure to save a link to the online version to access the videos linked within the guide. Use the guide as part of your professional development sessions. Discuss and work with different portions of the guide throughout the year as you learn about blended learning. Consider using this guide as a book study with your peers for one year, then implementing blended learning the following year.
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Ponder - Parlor Labs Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts...more
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts anywhere on the web. Highlight sentences, phrases, and words that evoke a response. There can be sentiments to tag that indicate confusion, evaluation, disapproval, and more. For a fee, all of this can be applied to PDFs and video on the web. Ponder has a comprehensive support section and guide.

tag(s): browser (6), critical thinking (108), independent reading (126), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44)

In the Classroom

Track students' reading and develop close reading skills and critical thinking with Ponder. Register with your email and create a Ponder group by clicking on "give it a spin" in the upper right corner of the home page. Then, give the class a name, and save the group by creating an administrator account. All directions for doing this are in the support section, as are the directions for adding additional classes. Ponder will bulk create accounts for your class, with no student email required. Just contact their support. Find an article or any text you want students to read on the web. Responding to an article on the web will initiate the class activity feed. Start out by sharing text (article, book, etc.) on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your students. Read through the text with them, asking them for feedback along the way. By doing this, you will be able to show students the features of Ponder. When you create a micro-reading response, it will post to the class activity feed along with a link to the article. Ponder is a wonderful tool to moderate reading in any core class. ESL/ELL and resource teachers can gain greater insight to their students' reading comprehension.

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OK2Ask: Easy Book Report Alternatives - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to switch things up? Join us to look at a few quick and easy ways to gauge student comprehension. You'll have fun and your students will thank you. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): reading strategies (44)

In the Classroom

Learn about simple, fresh, and effective activities to inspire a love of reading and measure student comprehension. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
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OK2Ask: Awesome Apps for Education from Google - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore free apps that can be used in various content areas to accomplish multiple goals. Participants will have time to explore apps and discover ways they can be implemented into classrooms with students of all ages. This session is appropriate for teachers at intermediate to advanced technology levels.

In the Classroom

Understand how to find, install, and use Google apps to support classroom instruction and for personal productivity. Watch this recording together with a few of your teaching colleagues to collect new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
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Iditarod Teacher on the Trail - Teacher on the Trail Program

Grades
3 to 8
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Iditarod Teacher on the Trail includes posts for the current Teacher on the Trail detailing their journey from selection through participation in the Iditarod. Posts include classroom...more
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Iditarod Teacher on the Trail includes posts for the current Teacher on the Trail detailing their journey from selection through participation in the Iditarod. Posts include classroom lessons correlated to Common Core Standards about the Iditarod in all subject areas. Choose links to particular parts of the curriculum to view videos, classroom images, download printables, and complete lessons. This site focuses on each new teacher of the year; be sure to see archives and information from previous years' teachers.

tag(s): alaska (25), iditarod (7)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as you and your class learn about the Iditarod and follow the Iditarod as it takes place each March. Sign up to receive email notice of the latest blog entries. Take advantage of the many free lesson plans for use in your classroom. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to follow the journey of the Iditarod. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, before the race begins to let students predict the winner of the Iditarod. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about the participants in the Iditarod.
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Ignite - Ninjas LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right...more
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right in and begin making your first multimedia project. With the tools, you can include text, images, and video through the web service. The iPad app will allow you to add audio. The collaboration feature allows for more than one user to work on a presentation at a time. Once the finished product is ready for viewing, easily share with the URL. The presentation tool is very simple and easy to use.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Use this tool to present new ideas to students via projector or interactive whiteboard. In a flipped classroom, share the URL and have students view the presentation on their own. Include questions on the slides to encourage active participation while viewing. Students can use this tool to work collaboratively on a slideshow to demonstrate knowledge and present material. Discuss what working collaboratively includes before beginning the project. Have students take their own pictures to include in their Ignite presentation to enhance the learning experience.

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Knewton - Jose Ferreira

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice...more
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice questions. The next selections are based on the student's responses and those of similar students. Knewton figures out what each student knows and how each student learns best. So the more the student uses Knewton, the more Knewton learns about the right speed and sequencing to serve up the content. The material is for grades 6 - 12 in Math, grades 4 - 6 in English Language Arts, grades 9 - 11 in Biology, and soon Knewton will have materials for History. At the time of this review, the FAQ also stated that you will soon be able to upload your own content. Sign up is with email or a Gmail account and easy for both students and teachers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): adaptations (17), DAT device agnostic tool (196), differentiation (47), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Introduce Knewton on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can sign up using the URL for your Knewton class, or by you putting in either their email, Knewton username, or account information. There is a very detailed FAQ section where you can learn all about the teacher dashboard and monitoring student progress. You could use this tool as a daily bell ringer assignment or at a center. You could also assign this for homework. Once students finish the selection, the tool will present another to work on right away. You may want to specify how many selections you want the students to complete on Knewton in each class session. Knewton will allow you to continue in the same area the next time you sign in. Working on these assignments through the year will improve your students' skills and literacy in Math, English, and Biology. Remember, History will be added soon. Post the link to Knewton on your class web page for students to use at home.

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Unite for Literacy Library - Unite for Literacy

Grades
K to 8
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down ...more
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down your choices using picture icons for different themes such as animals or families. Select and click a book to read. Click the speaker icon to hear each page. The narration is also available in many languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.

tag(s): audio books (32), DAT device agnostic tool (196), independent reading (126), preK (279)

In the Classroom

This site is one you must bookmark if you work with young readers! Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore and listen to books on their own. Unite for Literacy is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students for reading and hearing books in both English and their native language. Share a link to the site on your website or newsletter for use at home. World language teachers can use this site to have students listen to books in the language they are learning.

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XMind - XMind Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and ...more
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and get started by downloading XMind. Creation is easy! Simply double click Central Topic and add the topic name. Click tab to add main topics, click tab again to add subtopics. Xmind has many features to add organization to your mind map: Drag and drop arrows to organize, colored boundaries, add images and websites (search the web from within XMind), add Audio Notes, background or wallpaper, and much more. Share your map via PowerPoint, Excel, Evernote, PDF, PNG, JPEG, and several other universal formats. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorial videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): charts and graphs (195), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

To demonstrate this tool, have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this tool for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation).

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), independent reading (126), reading lists (73)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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OK2Ask: Innovation with Gamification Level Up your Learning! - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how to maximize the students' learning potential by using game design and game elements in the classroom. Explore innovative resources and strategies to foster student engagement with gamification methods. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate technology levels.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Engage your students and inspire your lessons by applying game principles and elements to non-game activities. These activities can be high-tech or low-tech. It is not about the tool as much as it is about the emphasis on game-like mechanics. Start small and become comfortable with the terminology and process. Choose some aspect of your classroom practice to gamify. You might choose to gamify components of professional development, classroom management, centers, entrance/exit slips, activities, or even whole units. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Made by Joel - Paper City - Joel Henriques

Grades
K to 7
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs,...more
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs, a circus, Aladdin's city, and more. Click on the link to any of the paper creations and follow directions to download, color, and create.
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tag(s): australia (35), cities (25), communities (35), dinosaurs (57), france (40), preK (279), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Have students use these printables to create a city to correspond with a book they read or for use as a story starter. Use the designs on the site as inspiration for creating your own printable city for any activity. Use as part of a transportation or community unit to share and discuss different components found. ESL/ELL teachers could explore the rest of the site and find coloring pages and other useful items to reinforce vocabulary.
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Harry Potter Reading Club - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Harry Potter fans - this site is for you! Start your own reading club to share your love of all things Harry Potter with the ready-made resources provided. Download new ...more
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Harry Potter fans - this site is for you! Start your own reading club to share your love of all things Harry Potter with the ready-made resources provided. Download new activities each month or discussion guides for each book in the series. Sign up as a reading club host to receive a free welcome kit with name tags, stickers, bookmarks, and more. Be sure to check out the many club resources found near the bottom of the home page. These resources include a pronunciation guide, glossary of terms, author information, and more.

tag(s): harry potter (12), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

Use this website to encourage independent reading or spark writing activities about Harry Potter. Use the materials on the site to start your own after school Harry Potter book club. If you use literature circles in your class, the students will appreciate the bookmarks and other handouts. You may also want to share Harry Potter's Page, reviewed here. If you don't have time to sponsor a book club, share these materials with another teacher or parent volunteer to get them started.
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ThinkCerca - ThinkCerca

Grades
4 to 12
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 ...more
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 lessons teaching students the art of argumentation. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. These lessons contain standards-aligned literacy concepts and vocabulary. Start with Cerca's baseline assessment for writing, and then proceed with the lessons in order since the lessons build on each other. Sign up with your email, first and last name, and school zip code. Create your class or classes, and have students enroll via a class code. Find prompts for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Math is coming soon (as of this review). The support section has several categories which include specific help directions, and also includes Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning Models, and Tips and Resources.
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tag(s): expository writing (44), persuasive writing (55), reading comprehension (116), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Students will need to click Sign Up and "I'm a Student." Students will enter their first name and last name so be sure you have parent permission. They will also need an email address. There is a work-a-round for the names and email address. For the first and last name you could have them enter a code, for example, the first two letters of their last name and first three letters of their first name. If students cannot have their own email accounts, ThinkCerca has a suggestion or consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Once your students have worked through the eight lessons here, you may want to look at 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here, to help you differentiate future writing lessons.

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PBS Kids Lab - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 4
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PBS Kids Lab offers access to the newest and most up to date games, shows, and information on PBS KIDS, specifically for math and reading skills. Choose from the many ...more
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PBS Kids Lab offers access to the newest and most up to date games, shows, and information on PBS KIDS, specifically for math and reading skills. Choose from the many activities in the Lab Menu such as games, collections, and videos. Educator Resources include classroom and out of school activities to accompany site resources.

tag(s): addition (251), counting (120), DAT device agnostic tool (196), data (148), estimation (46), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), measurement (159), numbers (204), preK (279), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the math activity calendar located on the site, including quick math activities for every day of the year. Create a link to learning games and activities on classroom computers. Post a link on your class website for use at home. Share information on the site with parents to assist them in helping their child with math and reading skills. Be sure to share the PBS Parents Play & Learn app that provides over a dozen learning games for parents to play with their kids, best of all, it is available in English and Spanish!

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (16), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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