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Construct A Word - ReadWriteThink

Grades
K to 3
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ReadWriteThink presents a simple, yet useful activity for beginning readers and spellers. You simply choose a word ending from the list of word families such as -an, -ed, -ig, -at,...more
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ReadWriteThink presents a simple, yet useful activity for beginning readers and spellers. You simply choose a word ending from the list of word families such as -an, -ed, -ig, -at, -et, -in, -op, -ot, -un, and others. You are then asked to choose a beginning letter to "Construct A Word". You may choose a beginning letter to create a simple CVC word or you may choose from a variety of beginning blends and digraphs such as bl, ch, cl, dr, sh, and sl. If you create a non-sense word, you are alerted to the fact that this is not a word. You may also refer to the Word Box to self-check which words you have already created from that word family.

tag(s): phonics (75)

In the Classroom

Construct-A-Word is a great way for students to enhance their knowledge of word families or to build upon a lesson about blends and digraphs. To extend the activity, have students choose several of the words from the Word Box and create a simple story. If time permits, have students create an online book using a tool such as Mixbook (reviewed here. Collect the stories to assess their connection between the words from the game with authentic meanings and usage.
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Motivator - Big Huge Labs

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own motivational posters easily and simply. Choose a random picture (one from Flickr or Facebook) or use one already on your computer. Choose colors and other options as...more
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Create your own motivational posters easily and simply. Choose a random picture (one from Flickr or Facebook) or use one already on your computer. Choose colors and other options as well as the type of text to be used. Enter your text and preview the result. Once complete, save to Flickr, your computer, or print. Remember you can use a saved image in PowerPoint shows and on a class wiki, as well as blogs and other sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): collages (17), images (266), photography (160), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about a unit topic with a caption using new terms learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project, have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying. Create a portfolio of 6 word stories, utilizing a powerful picture and 6 words to demonstrate the concept that was learned. Assign students the task of placing their project on a blog with a larger explanation of their understanding of the concept used in the picture.

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Wedoist - Wedoist

Grades
4 to 12
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Wedoist is an easy, free project manager. Do you have groups working on projects? Do they need to plan out their work and who will do what? Your students need ...more
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Wedoist is an easy, free project manager. Do you have groups working on projects? Do they need to plan out their work and who will do what? Your students need to know about time management skills. Wedoist will help you teach them. At Wedoist you'll find a simple, free task manager. It has a built in calendar and you can create sub-projects and sub-tasks easily. The free account is for groups of three or less. Be aware: this site is still operating, however support staff is no longer available.

tag(s): classroom management (135), organizational skills (122), time (144)

In the Classroom

When older students sign up for an account, be sure to tell them to use their code or acronym instead of their real name. For younger students you can create an account and as many groups as you need. Invite students to the group they will be working with. Older students can sign up for the program and create their own project and invite their group members. Have the students agree on tasks and who will complete them and post it on Wedoist. Use this site to help students organize for individual or collaborative research projects. Take the "time" to actually teach about time management skills, one of the most sought-after skills listed by today's employers.

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SEN Teaching Printables - SEN Teacher

Grades
K to 5
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This site provides lots of handy study aids and printables for the regular and special education classroom. Resources can be found in the areas of math, literacy, and other. The ...more
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This site provides lots of handy study aids and printables for the regular and special education classroom. Resources can be found in the areas of math, literacy, and other. The "other" section contains many resources for teachers to use to print certificates, classroom management, "feelings," printables for science lessons, and more.

This site does include some minor advertisements.

tag(s): classroom management (135), printables (38), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use the printables under the other tab to help manage your classroom. Use behavior chart to help students track their behavior or use for the class as a whole. Use the feeling bubbles to help students articulate their feelings. Use the literacy fans during your language arts time to help students build literacy skills. Use the time and money generators to support your students during math time. All of the tools and printables can be used for center or independent work.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Exploratree - Futurelab

Grades
4 to 12
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Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There ...more
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Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides where you can choose a graphic organizer/mind map and fill it in. Or, you can create your own thinking guide. There are many highly interactive features: printing, emailing, and collaborating with others in real time. The home page has several videos that show you how to use the features of the site, and it has many ideas for how to use Exploratree in your classroom.

tag(s): brain (72), brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate your organizer is. You and your students must be registered and logged in to share, or comment on each other's thinking guide. Note: to use the collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access. You can also export the mind maps in pdf format, text, or as an image (gif).

Make sure your students use a code name or number when registering. Be sure to save their names/numbers, for when they "forget."

Have students create graphic organizers in cooperative groups as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. In science classes, have groups generate visual illustrations of processes such as photosynthesis. In literature, generate story maps or diagram the relationships between characters. In social studies, illustrate different factors that lead to a war or economic meltdown. Share and compare the organizers on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class and allow classmates to suggest changes. Use student-made organizers as an informal formative assessment part way through any unit.

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Flisti - Flists

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create free online polls easily without creating an account. Enter your question and possible answers. Click create a poll. Want to place the poll on a website or blog? Copy ...more
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Create free online polls easily without creating an account. Enter your question and possible answers. Click create a poll. Want to place the poll on a website or blog? Copy the URL and use it as a link. Or click the link below your poll to copy the embed code to paste wherever you want. Click view results to see votes in a bar graph form. Copy the graph by using the print screen function of your computer. Use Print screen for PC or Apple/Shift/4. Print the graph or upload to a wiki, blog, or site of your choice.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to copy/paste the link to the poll or know how to use embed codes if placing in a wiki, blog, or site. Since this service is free and does not require signup, use this site whenever a quick and easy poll is needed.

Be sure that students use the poll appropriately and that personal information is not given out in poll responses.

Use this site anywhere quick answers are needed. Have students create a poll about what they are interested in and allow time to analyze responses and report findings. Use this site to vote for correct answers in math class, project ideas for science or social studies, social issues in current events, and practically any other subject area. In an elementary math class, collect quick data to show how graphs can be used. Provide options for students to gain confidence in generating and analyzing statistics they have created. Make a quick parent poll to include on a class web site to keep the lines of communication open.
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Audio Stories - Beenleigh State School

Grades
K to 5
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This massive collection of links to 221 audio stories includes tales, poems, music, fairy tales, riddles, and folk tales. Presented by an Australian school, the selections target listeners...more
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This massive collection of links to 221 audio stories includes tales, poems, music, fairy tales, riddles, and folk tales. Presented by an Australian school, the selections target listeners From Year 1 to Year 7 in the Australian educational system. Once listeners select a story, the link goes to any number of other sites with recorded stories, so the load time and type of graphics vary; some stories also feature related activities. Given the sheer size of the collection, it would not be surprising if a few links did not work, but most seem to be functional.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Share these audio stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector(with speakers!). Allow students to explore this site during reading centers. (Don't forget the headsets.) Offer this link on your class website for students to visit at home. Use this site to share stories from around the world as listening activities or as tie-ins to geography study.
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Mad Libs Junior - Funbrain

Grades
1 to 5
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Funbrain has brought the traditional fun of Mad Libs (Junior) to the internet. Students can choose from four categories: Once Upon a....., Prehistoric, School Rules!, and Alphabet....more
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Funbrain has brought the traditional fun of Mad Libs (Junior) to the internet. Students can choose from four categories: Once Upon a....., Prehistoric, School Rules!, and Alphabet. Once they choose a category, they continue on to complete each blank using the identified parts of speech. The most commonly used parts of speech are nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. A word bank is available for additional assistance. After students have filled in all of the blanks, the finished copy is presented and students can simply read it or print a copy. Students get a lot of laughs from this fun activity as they reinforce concepts of parts of speech.

tag(s): grammar (216), parts of speech (68), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Extend this activity by having students change the endings of their stories or by creating their own Mad Libs to share with the class. Students can create their Mad Libs as a Word document for easy sharing. Have students work in pairs to complete the Mad Libs and read to each other or to other small groups in a think/pair/share activity. Print out the completed Mad Libs as very informal assessments for the parts of speech. Use as a review of the parts of speech in a whole group setting using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create "talking pictures" to illustrate or read their Mad Lib using Fotobabble reviewed here.

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Just Free Books - justfreebooks.info

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for...more
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This site is an aggregator for most of the known digital libraries including Gutenberg, Google Books, Wikibooks, and archive.org. Entering search terms like "children's books," for example, leads to a list of links that offer free online reads. Other features include books in other formats including those that upload to many different players including PDF, TXT, MS Reader, MS Word and ODT, RTF, Palm Reader eBooks, Html, Epub, Kindle, Mobipocket, Isilo, Audio books, Plucker, and more. Besides searching in "only English," you can also select Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese to search for books in those languages. In addition to the digital collection, there are also featured, donated books.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Offer this site to students who wish to use digital devices to read. Keep in mind that many of the selections are older, in the public domain due to the expiration of copyright. ESL and SPED students may benefit from being able to hear or see books in a different way. Use these texts as language to analyze or manipulate on your interactive whiteboard to teach reading comprehension skills, parts of speech, transition words, vocabulary study, and writing style. Allow students to copy/paste text into the whiteboard software so they can "work with words" from literary works instead of worksheets.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Your Next Read - Boland and Dukic

Grades
2 to 12
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This cleverly designed site helps you find book titles similar to a book you like. After selecting a book you enjoyed, eight similar books pop up around the original cover. ...more
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This cleverly designed site helps you find book titles similar to a book you like. After selecting a book you enjoyed, eight similar books pop up around the original cover. For more selections, click at the bottom for another round of eight. You can also recommend books that you think are similar. Selected books appear across the top in a "history" row to return to your previous search. Descriptions of books selected come from Amazon.com; reviews from readers also originate from Amazon. In order to see your previous searches, you can opt to register and log in for free. Registration does require an email address. Categories of books include children's books, most challenged books, Oprah's selections, young adult books, and Jon Stewart's books. You can also enter any title to be searched. You can also enter a theme into the search box to find books related to that particular theme.

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Share HOW this site works with students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers for students to use to find independent reading. Share the site with school librarians. Use this site as the starting point for literature circles on a theme. After reading, challenge students to create their own comics to highlight their book using comic-creation tools from this collection.

Talk with students about what makes certain books "similar." Ask them if they have other suggestions of similar books. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
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Arounder - VRWAY Communication

Grades
K to 12
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Step onto the Brooklyn Bridge, travel all the way to Shanghai, marvel at the detailed 360 panoramic views of cities from around the world on this site. Locations in over ...more
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Step onto the Brooklyn Bridge, travel all the way to Shanghai, marvel at the detailed 360 panoramic views of cities from around the world on this site. Locations in over 70 European cities, North/South America, Asia, the Pacific, and even the Moon and Mars are yours to explore through maps, detailed photographs, and location highlights. The highlights from each city include: museums, stores, works of art, cathedrals, and cultural attractions. City highlights include city tours with accompanying satellite views from Google Earth. After choosing the city highlight, explore a 360 panoramic view.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Arounder adds an extra resource to make your studies come alive. Extend math with real life math problems involving distances, planning routes, costs of tours are illustrated on this site. Try language arts activities to teach setting using world travel. Enrich discussions in ESL/ELL or world language classes by sharing the detailed visual image on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge gifted students to plan a world highlights trip or around the world in 80 days adventure!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MagCloud - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, LP

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site...more
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Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site is required using an email address though verification is not required. Magazines can be printed for a fee or shared and viewed online for free. Click Browse after creating your account to view already created magazines. Search using search terms and by clicking on popular topics. Click Publish to begin creating your own magazine. Enter a title, subtitle, description, and category. Next, create an issue title, decide whether it will be public or private, and choose tags. Connect with your Flickr account, choose your Flickr album, and create the album easily. Setting your album to public allows others to view and buy (which can provide income as well.) Set Bind/price to choose bindings and price. Check the box if you wish free download to iPad.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.

Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.

Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Lino - Infoteria Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to ...more
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to use Lino. Join and create your own canvases to share stickies, reminders, files, and more. Change sticky colors from the menu in the upper right hand corner or use the easy editing tools that appear when the sticky is selected. Use the icons at the bottom of each sticky note to "peel them off," share, edit, and more. Create a group from your Lino page to share and collaborate on canvases. You can also share canvases publicly so anyone with the URL can participate. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): collages (17), creative fluency (8), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (199), gamification (65), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.

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TeachersFirst's Webquest Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students find, use, and create webquests. Teachers can find examples of webquests...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students find, use, and create webquests. Teachers can find examples of webquests across the curriculum (and places to find MORE). Both students and teachers can find tools for creating their own webquests. We have even included some sample web resources as terrific seeds for webquest ideas.

In the Classroom

Mark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.

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Polldaddy - Automattic

Grades
K to 12
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various ...more
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various features such as progress bar, restrictions, and notifications. Choose from Free Text, Multiple Choice, or a Matrix. Enter your question and choices. Upload media if desired. Click Finish and Embed when done with the survey. Use the embed codes and links for either creating a pop up page, or embedding directly into a page on a blog, wiki, or site. View reports of the results, locations, and participants of the survey.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it.

This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.

Use polls created using Polldaddy on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase read involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them.

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Ed.Voicethread Digital Library - Voicethread LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing...more
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Unsure of classroom uses for Voicethread? On this site, teachers share successful projects that use Voicethread. Choose from the subjects along the left side. Read articles sharing ideas, challenges in the use of Voicethread, and a sample Voicethread to view. New to Voicethread? Check our review of Voicethread here.

tag(s): digital storytelling (145)

In the Classroom

Find great project ideas from educators who have used Voicethread in the classroom. For example, in Math find great projects about measurement, probability, and problem solving. In Science, view stories about Astronomy. View projects about Ellis Island and the Reconstruction along with other Social Studies examples. Find great projects on these subjects as well as Language Arts, Foreign Language, Information Technology, Professional Development, and Performing Arts. Have a great project using Voicethread? Join the community and submit your as well.

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TVOKids Ages 2-5 - TVOKids

Grades
K to 2
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TVOKids, Ages 2-5, is designed to provide interactive activities that span across the educational spectrum. The activities are upbeat, catchy and simple to use while maintaining educational...more
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TVOKids, Ages 2-5, is designed to provide interactive activities that span across the educational spectrum. The activities are upbeat, catchy and simple to use while maintaining educational authenticity. There are interactives and videos to view. The videos cover a vast array of topics from social skills to word families to backyard science. The games portion is broken into categories: ABC's/puzzles, math, music, science, animals, about me, and arts/crafts. While the site is listed for children ages 2-5, the activities are more than appropriate for students in grades kindergarten through second. You can easily search this site by selecting the medium you would like to use, videos or games, and then selecting a subject/topic. The site also provides downloads for enrichment opportunities such as flashcards, puzzles, sequencing, brainstorming, hypothesis generating, comprehension activities, and more. There is a lot here to explore!

tag(s): alphabet (92), counting (120), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Present the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Share parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Consider providing this link on your class website for students to explore at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TVOKids Ages 11 and under - TVOKids

Grades
K to 6
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TVOKids, Ages 11 and under, is designed to provide interactive activities that span across the educational spectrum. With 800+ videos and over 160 games, the activities are upbeat,...more
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TVOKids, Ages 11 and under, is designed to provide interactive activities that span across the educational spectrum. With 800+ videos and over 160 games, the activities are upbeat, catchy and simple to use while maintaining educational authenticity. The videos cover a vast array of topics from social skills to dinosaurs to math. The interactives are broken into categories: words/puzzles, math/science, health/sports, arts/music, and our world. The site also provides downloads for enrichment opportunities such as place value, graphing, symmetry, the scientific method, and much more. Check out the Homework Zone for excellent tutorials on a variety of subject matters. They are not just for homework help!

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), logic (235), patterns (85), shakespeare (131), spelling (168), time (144)

In the Classroom

Share this website on your projector or interactive white board. Present the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Be sure to list this link on your website for students to access both in and out of class for additional practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Show my street - showmystreet.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this easy site to find any address on satellite view. Show My Street uses Google Street View. Type in an address. As you type, street views that begin to ...more
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Use this easy site to find any address on satellite view. Show My Street uses Google Street View. Type in an address. As you type, street views that begin to match the address will appear. As you continue to type, the street views continue to change. (This is actually a really great way to see other places.) Zoom in on your address using the same tools found in Google Maps. Share the location by clicking on the Twitter, Facebook, or link icons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Have students choose any place, then post the link to it on a blog, wiki, or website, and write a description of it. Describe what they would see out of their window, create a story about what they hear or see, or describe their family and what's inside of the house. Research the history of the area to determine how it may have been different in the past. Of course you will went to avoid posting personal information on the web, but students could write fictional stories or keep personal information out of their writings. Describe the wildlife (plant or animal) that exists in their area. Describe the community of people in the area or an important neighbor and why they are important. Create a persuasive essay why their house (or school) is the best, friendliest, etc. in the area. Use tools to determine the distance between houses or to local historical places, places of interest, etc. Use the image as a powerful tool for writing.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twurdy - twurdy.com

Grades
K to 12
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight...more
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight year old children, while others are in high school or beyond. Twurdy provides access to search results that suit individuals' reading levels, by providing an easy color coded system to help you quickly determine how simple or hard the page will be to understand. The beauty is that it is not an extra step! Twurdy is powered by Google. Try it right now. It only takes a few seconds. Just go to the Twurdy website (by clicking on the title in this review) and copy/paste the URL - http://www.teachersfirst.com/index.cfm in the search box. Not only will you see Twurdy's value, you will have the added bonus of discovering our TeachersFirst website if you are not already a frequent user. While this site could be independently used by intermediate and secondary students, teachers of the primary grades may also find this site useful as a professional resource.

tag(s): readability (8), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Twurdy is useful for all grades and subjects. Teachers can spend hours looking for age/grade appropriate websites to display on classroom whiteboards, include in webquests, and recommend for usage with assignments. Save valuable time by finding the information that is most appropriate for your students. This will mean that more time can be spent actually getting the assignment done, rather than clicking through material that is either too difficult or too simplistic to use. Bookmark this site in your favorites and provide the link on your class web page to save yourself and your students a lot of time finding what you are looking for. Remember that you can "organize" recommended sites for students using a tool such as LiveBinders (reviewed here, share them with readability tips using Diigo reviewed here, or even color code them by reading level for younger students using Symbaloo reviewed here.

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