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Magnetic Poetry - Dave Kappell

Grades
K to 6
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As part of the commercial site for Dave Kappell's Magnetic Poetry kits, The Kids Poetry Page extends the original idea of Magnetic Poetry online. This engaging site features the commercial...more
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As part of the commercial site for Dave Kappell's Magnetic Poetry kits, The Kids Poetry Page extends the original idea of Magnetic Poetry online. This engaging site features the commercial venture to further the sale of Magnetic Poetry and other products. The Kids' Poetry Page lets you can play online (FREE) with several of the kits. Moving the word tiles, you create poetry to save, print, or publish online. An email address is necessary to publish online, but it is not shared with the poem. A gallery highlights poems created by kids. A similar adult section is available with the use of different poetry kits. A detailed teachers' section includes multiple ideas for classroom use submitted by educators. As with any tool that allows students to work with words, it is possible to create suggestive or inappropriate "poetry." Be sure to spell out consequences for inappropriate content, just as you would with pencil/paper assignments. A few of the words available could be used to refer to body parts, however, it took our editors quite a while to find any. If your list shows up with a word that you feel is not appropriate, simply click to get a new set of words.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), iwb (31), poetry (228), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Share the magnetic poetry on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Once students have created their poem, challenge students to read it to the class by creating a podcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). This is an excellent resource to share during Poetry Month. Why note make a poetry center on your interactive whiteboard for students to work with a partner? While this site is intended for poetry writing, it could also be used by younger students learning sight words, as many of these words are on most "sight word" lists for kindergartners and first graders (it, is, the, etc.). Be sure to share this link on your class website for students (and parents) to try at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

I am wondering if the kit I looked at was intended for adults. With words like breast, lie, bed... Note from the editorial staff: we have updated our review and included a disclaimer. We did find one set of words that included the words listed above, after clicking through several sets of words. If you stumble upon this set and feel it is not appropriate for your students, simply click to get a new set of words. There are several different sets of word lists. Doris, MI, Grades: 0 - 3

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Strike - Zurb

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL ...more
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Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL of your list to return later. Mark list items as completed by dragging them to the left or right of the list window or simply check them off. Double click the list item to edit it as needed then click off of it to save. Send the url for your list to collaborate with others. See what others have done by clicking on the small person icon across the top. When making changes, enter your name, and the site keeps track of who completed specific items. What a great twist on your "to do" list.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use this simple tool to create "to do" lists for group projects or research. Be sure to spend time breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. This is a great tool to help students learn time management when organizing a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be known and the best steps to take to complete the project. Organize tasks and set due dates to assist students in being timely completing projects. Use the tool together a few times on a projector or interactive whiteboard, returning to check off items, then have student groups try it as they do projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers at all levels will appreciate this tool for professional organization of their own tasks, especially during busy times like report cards!

Comments

Excellent for time management, long term projects, even personal projects! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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Wiggio - Dana Lampert and Lance Polivy

Grades
K to 12
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Wiggio makes communicating in groups extremely easy (and free.) Use Wiggio for messaging, creating a calendar, polling, sharing and editing, and conferencing. Use a shared folder for...more
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Wiggio makes communicating in groups extremely easy (and free.) Use Wiggio for messaging, creating a calendar, polling, sharing and editing, and conferencing. Use a shared folder for files and links. Wiggio boasts of the ease of use of its application which allows novice and more skilled users an easy to understand and use interface. How can it be so easy? It is actually very simplified collaboration.

tag(s): calendars (44), forum (9), microblogging (44), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Create a password for others to join groups you create. Students enter the group name and password to join. All groups appear on your dashboard page. Click on your group to use the tools. Messages to the group can also be posted by email or text message. Click on the green arrow below the post field to choose who the message can be sent to. Click on various tools along the top to open. Tools such as calendar, folder, meeting, poll, message, and to-do lists are very easy to follow. Videos on using Wiggio can also be found on the site. Change all information within your group in the Group Settings. Group information can also be viewed directly on the Wiggio site.

Use this simple tool for academic and extra-curricular groups who need to plan meetings, create schedules, or collaborate through messaging. Try this site with teachers and parents for solving transportation issues or with younger students by using the polling or messaging tool. Use this resource with high school students working on group projects for better group communication, managing work flow, and more. Take the time to model how to plan and manage group process using such a tool. What a study and life skill!

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Homework hotline - homeworkhotline.org

Grades
3 to 12
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to...more
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to areas of the site such as "Sweet Stuff" which features neat interactives, "Needed Knowledge" with great tips, "Book review" to view video book reviews, and "Getting Historical." Watch informative (don't confuse with boring) videos of various math problems whether it be basic math, solving word problems, or even geometry. Find videos for other subjects such as science, language arts, social studies, health, and art. Review information in various subjects by trying age-appropriate interactives. This site also boasts "Dial A Teacher." Students can use a toll-free number to speak with a real teacher Monday through Thursday between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. EST.

tag(s): homework (44), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Visit the "Boring Stuff' link for parents and teachers to find a PDF of 10 Ways to Use the Homework Helper Site in Your Classroom. Find segment guides, scripts, and book reviews beneficial for in class or use by students outside of class. Share this link at Back to School Night and put the link directly on your class website. Encourage middle schoolers to build independent work habits using this site.

Consider creating helpful information, videos, and tutorials of information students need answers to and creating your own help site as a school. Use students to create book reviews, math tutorials, etc. Use a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here to share the videos.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Character Counts! - Josephson Institute

Grades
2 to 12
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The booklists on this site feature books from the ""Six Pillars of Character" chosen by the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics. You can narrow the search by selecting one...more
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The booklists on this site feature books from the ""Six Pillars of Character" chosen by the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics. You can narrow the search by selecting one specific kind of character (trst=Trustworthiness, rspt=Respect, rspn=Responsibility, fair=Fairness, care=Caring, citz=Citizenship). You can also search by type of book (children's fiction, storybooks, or teen fiction). If you choose instead to search the entire list, the pillar shows up at the end of the book listing. Links to other websites featuring the "Six Pillars of Character" complete the offerings of the site.

tag(s): book lists (128), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Give your students more than one message! When teaching the Six Traits of writing to students, look at the books offered on this list to use as your examples for word choice, voice, etc. You may want to compare the list of books on Writing Fix reviewed here to the list of books on Character Counts.

Use these lists to make up your recommended outside lists. If you are not familiar with all the teen books, use this site as a resource to inform yourselves about the quality and messages of some YA literature. Be sure to share this site with school librarians, other teachers, and counselors.

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Reading and Writing Project Booklists - Teachers College of Columbia University

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular...more
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular interest is the book list entitled "Book Ladders" since it lists books in a series or with the same characters and the specific order they should be read in. Some book lists correspond to grade level, reading level, or genre. The themes are very broad and the grade level varies from Read Alouds through Middle School.

tag(s): book lists (128), media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

Share this list with students looking for a new book to read. Post a couple of the lists you like the best on your Edmodo reviewed here or Wiki classroom site. Share this compilation with other educators and librarians.

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Take Part - Take part,LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities...more
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities to light. Search issues by category, read news stories, find actions and communities, and even create communities and actions. Read the must read of the week and view important facts and ideas. View video clips, read articles, and more. Join the community though this is not necessary to use the resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317), movies (65), news (261), newspapers (94), problem solving (272), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality non-fiction reading material and viewing material. Find great resources, actions, and possibilities for many of the best documentaries students can view such as "Inconvenient Truth" and "Food, Inc." Be sure to check out the lesson plans available at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Groundhog Day and Possum Night Talking Storybook - Mighty Book

Grades
K to 3
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This is a talking storybook that tells the story of Groundhog Day (and a bit more.) Animations and silly music help bring the story to life and add interest for ...more
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This is a talking storybook that tells the story of Groundhog Day (and a bit more.) Animations and silly music help bring the story to life and add interest for students. Students can follow along as text is highlighted when being read. The story can also be stopped at anytime and pages can be flipped forward and backward.

tag(s): holidays (147), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to use on classroom computers as a center close to Groundhogs Day. Show the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students circle and find adjectives, nouns, or verbs in the story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Children's Books Forever - Hans Wilhelm, Inc.

Grades
K to 3
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This site offers several children's picture books in PDF format for easy printing and quick access in the classroom. Approximately a dozen books are available with the possibility of...more
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This site offers several children's picture books in PDF format for easy printing and quick access in the classroom. Approximately a dozen books are available with the possibility of new titles being added at any time. Some titles are offered in French, German, Norwegian, as well as English and other languages. A few titles are geared toward character education with an emphasis on bullying and cheating.

tag(s): guided reading (47), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Print copies of books for students to use during silent reading time or as take-home practice books. Share books on your interactive whiteboard to read together or as a literature center. Share this site with teachers who have students fluent in languages other than English as a resource for reading material.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Aesops Fables Online Collection - John R Long Star Systems

Grades
1 to 10
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Come on in and enjoy the ageless and timeless wisdom of Aesop and his Fables at this award winning site. There are a total of 638 Fables, indexed in table ...more
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Come on in and enjoy the ageless and timeless wisdom of Aesop and his Fables at this award winning site. There are a total of 638 Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed. Aseop lived 2,500 yeas ago and never wrote any tales down. Ambrose Pierce, Jean De La Fontaine I, Rev. George Fyler Townsend, and Hans Christian Andersen have retold these tales. A life history of Aesop is included. Some tales include audio narration, while all are in written format.

tag(s): folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Aesops Fables, comprehensive resource for fable collection is necessary for every classroom. Have a very extensive collection of life, history, morals, and fables. Use during language arts as part of a genre study or as part of literary themes. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use on individual computers and include in centers. During Writing Workshop, find ways to change the morals into modern stories. Use as scripts for Readers' Theater, podcasts, or reading comprehension. During character development, challenge students to find ways to incorporate into lessons.

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Moppet Games - Moppet Games

Grades
K to 5
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Enjoy free fun educational interactives for children age 3 to 12. Moppet games offer shape matching activities, word searches, hangman, photo hunt, and math games to improve computation...more
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Enjoy free fun educational interactives for children age 3 to 12. Moppet games offer shape matching activities, word searches, hangman, photo hunt, and math games to improve computation skills. No need to worry about creating an account or submitting an email, just visit the URL and play.

tag(s): addition (251), geometric shapes (163), logic (235), matching (24), number sense (97), numbers (204), preK (281), subtraction (208), word study (80)

In the Classroom

The Math worm game is perfect for kindergarten and first grade center time. While trying to avoid having a bird eat you, students will learn how to add and subtract quickly. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for math practice or as a free choice center.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Children's Books at Embracing the Child - Embracing the Child

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom ...more
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At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom teachers, media specialists, and parents. Each week the site offers a synopsis of a Book of the Week; monthly there is an author interview. Archives share previous offerings all the way back to 2003 (at the time of this review). The links on the left side of the page make it easier to find specific books by topic, such as Black History, Recommendations for age 9 and up, and letters & sounds. Don't miss the section about children's illustrators, located in links on the left. It contains an incredibly long list of links to information about specific children's authors. (Note: some links were broken, but most are not.) The site also offers an email newsletter. Some of the descriptions offer the opportunity to purchase the book at Amazon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), baseball (36), black history (59), book lists (128), book reports (35), independent reading (128), literature (275), newbery (2)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers and schools without access to a Media Specialist can use this site to stay current on children's literature offerings and book awards. Use this site before reading a book for information about the author to share with your classroom. Locate books geared toward specific student interests using the category links on the left. Share this site on your classroom blog or website as a resource for parents and students to find books for independent reading. Use this site to find books specific to classroom topics such as nature books, picture books, or science and math books. Set up literature circles based on a topic.

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Study Blue - StudyBlue

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others ...more
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others for excellent collaboration. Study Blue also provides hints to help students study. Create a folder in "My Backpack." Make flashcards to get started or search flashcards already created by others.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Use as a study aid for students. This is a great tool for older students (who own cell phones). Students can study their flashcards on the bus, in the backseat of the family car, or while waiting for their dentist appointment! Have students create individual accounts and collaborate with others or create a class account for all to use. Have groups collaborate on the creation of flashcards for students to use or have groups create flashcards for specific parts of the unit. Learning support students can take their extra help along with them.

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Weblist - WebList

Grades
3 to 12
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Weblist is a way to organize and gather web content, a way to put a list of links into a meaningful organization, ready to share. After you create your list ...more
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Weblist is a way to organize and gather web content, a way to put a list of links into a meaningful organization, ready to share. After you create your list of sites based upon a theme, Weblist will create one easy url to access the list and navigate to the sites. This link can then be shared as a customizable web page or inserted into your website or blog. Click the links in the Weblist to open them in new tabs/windows. No more typing urls!

tag(s): bookmarks (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Create and share resources for any classroom topic. Ask students to develop a Weblist of their sources when doing their research. Create your own Weblist to be used during lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign small groups of students to investigate the already created Weblists to find resources for projects or to reinforce concepts being taught in class. Create differentiated Weblists for projects so everyone can find information they can read and understand.

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Launch Pad Mag - Launchpad.com

Grades
1 to 9
1 Favorites 1  Comments
This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include...more
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This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include The Ocean, Sports, and Mysteries. Two early issues feature authors from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. An interactive map of authors and illustrators shows the home bases of the young contributors. For hesitant writers, a section called "Writer's Block" gives suggestions intended to stimulate writing and thinking. Students are able to send in submissions via email or directly through a form on the website. Read the FAQ page to learn about how students can use pen names, rather than their real names.

tag(s): drawing (78), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your class read chosen selections from this e-zine at their personal computers and consider submitting writing or artwork. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitted student work to this online magazine, if your school policy allows such submissions. Why not link this excellent opportunity on your class website or in your class newsletter, so parents can submit their student's work on their own. or use it as a midsummer inspiration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

[We have updated this review per teacher comment - TF Editors] This is a wonderful website. And you can send in submissions by email or through a form on the website. The FAQ page says it is optional how much information is published about the student authors and artists- and the kids can even use pen names. They are very friendly to work with. Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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Jotform - Interlogy, LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, ...more
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Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, empty canvas by dragging and dropping elements. Generate and post your form online and receive an email for every survey response.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom for a survey, collecting student information, or any time you are looking for feedback. Use this site for checking student knowledge quickly and easily. Use in projects, including graduation projects. Students can collect data for analysis. Teachers can collect input from parents or students, including conference concerns to know about in advance or questions students have about current curriculum topics. Students who might never speak up in class may be willing to share their questions online, especially if it is anonymous.

Comments

Jotform is really easy to use! But there are some limits regarding how long and often you can use it without paying. I also use Google forms/ spreadsheets in my class to make forms. Google spreadsheets also have gadgets that let you graph the results! Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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ABCya - ABCYA.com, l.l.c,

Grades
K to 5
11 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click...more
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ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, aims to provide educational games and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click on your grade level (K-5) and find what is available under language arts, math, and other subjects. Specific topics range from basic typing activities to creating word clouds to grammar games (at all levels) and so much more. The interactives are teacher approved and offer colorful and attention grabbing ways for learning. Opportunities for sharing on Facebook, tweeting, and sharing on social bookmarking sites are incorporated. This is a MUST SEE site for elementary teachers looking for some great practice sites for basic skills!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), decimals (133), drawing (78), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), keyboarding (38), latitude (13), literacy (103), longitude (13), number sense (97), numbers (204), operations (126), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstration how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
19 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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