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TV411 - Vocabulary - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and the skills addressed. Most videos are approximately three minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print downloads. This site was originally created for adult basic literacy students. However, many of these lessons could be useful with younger students learning the basics of vocabulary. Preview the video for appropriateness before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (56), prefixes (16), reading comprehension (115), root words (13), spelling (169), suffixes (14), synonyms (38), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Any vocabulary development unit needs to include lessons about how dictionaries and thesaurus' work. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of your dictionary/word-study unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to particular videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for specific skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions on improving vocabulary and writing skills. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
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Literacy Design Collaborative - Literacy Design Collaborative

Grades
K to 12
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most...more
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most templates address secondary levels; however, other offerings contain some elementary templates. Template tasks allow you to fill in the blank with learning skills addressed. When completed, you create and produce a high-quality assignment. Three collections are available by choosing the tasks link: the template task collection II, Common Core template tasks, and K-2 template tasks. Use links provided to view instructions and download templates in PDF format. Choose the modules link to view and download complete modules for instruction for English, Science, and Social Studies. Also available at the Literacy Design Collaborative is a series of videos demonstrating changing teacher practice and literacy. Most of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to school (or your meeting) "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): american revolution (86), animals (277), biodiversity (38), canada (30), careers (132), china (66), civil rights (117), cold war (29), ecosystems (88), energy (199), evolution (101), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), india (36), industrial revolution (25), lincoln (86), literacy (106), marine biology (33), photosynthesis (33), poetry (225), pollution (66), professional development (124), shakespeare (130)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource for schools implementing Common Core Standards. Share this site during professional development sessions to view and learn how to use the templates and modules in the classroom. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard and have groups discuss afterwards. View videos from the site during these sessions to understand the framework behind the templates. Download templates and modules for use in your classroom for any content or use templates as a model for creating your own templates.
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Simple English News - simpleenglishnews

Grades
4 to 12
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Simple English News is a site that has very short articles about items from all over the world. It also features English in 30-Seconds videos on news topics and ...more
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Simple English News is a site that has very short articles about items from all over the world. It also features English in 30-Seconds videos on news topics and language oddities like slang and idioms. In addition, there are quizzes, participatory polls, written and oral interviews, recipes, and many other selections. This is not a site for breaking or controversial news. Besides appealing to ESL/ELL students, this site would work well with resource classes. Please remember to preview anything you wish to share, to be sure the content is appropriate for your classroom. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), news (260), video (262)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Check with this site to see if it has a feature on a grammar or vocabulary lesson you are preparing. Check with your administration about the feasibility of students registering to participate in polls and make comments on news articles. Refer students to the article about five special apps for learning English.
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Find a Word You Can't Spell - TV411

Grades
5 to 12
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Students are often in a quandary about finding words in a dictionary they do not know how to spell. Share this video and they will enjoy the humorous banter between ...more
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Students are often in a quandary about finding words in a dictionary they do not know how to spell. Share this video and they will enjoy the humorous banter between two friends while learning to find a word they cannot spell. One needs to find a word he cannot spell, and the other gives several demonstrations of just how to use the dictionary without knowing the exact spelling for a word. Although TV411 was originally created for adult English Language students, this video could be useful in any secondary English classroom.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), spelling (169)

In the Classroom

Use this video as an introduction to dictionary skills. ESL/ELL students will benefit from this introduction to puzzling spelling and the use of phonetics, as well. Have students create their own comics to explain other phonetic hints they want to share with classmates such as the "ph" sounds like "f" illustration from the video. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection.
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What's a Thesaurus? - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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This short video creates a situation where it is necessary to choose synonyms to avoid using the same word repeated times. It goes on to explain how to use a ...more
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This short video creates a situation where it is necessary to choose synonyms to avoid using the same word repeated times. It goes on to explain how to use a conventional thesaurus. It uses the overly repeated word from the first situation to examine a thesaurus entry, and it explains how to know which group of thesaurus words to choose from. Although tv411 was originally created for English language learners (mainly adults), much of the content would be useful with secondary students. Preview the video before you share with your class.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to the thesaurus when teaching dictionary skills. Click on a related, non-video lesson on "Finding New Ways to Say Something" for more ideas about how to teach thesaurus skills.
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Laundry Day - Cassandra Erkens

Grades
2 to 12
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Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about...more
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Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about a topic. Students select a laundry detergent (Tide, Gain, Bold, and Cheer). These will be their cooperative learning groups to improve, reinforce, or enrich their understanding of the lesson. Students select the Tide detergent if they feel the information is a tidal wave coming down on them. Gain is the detergent selected by students who understand the basics, but need more assistance. Students select the Bold detergent if they are confident with the material, but they have a few questions. Cheer represents the students needing enrichment activities for the unit of instruction. Each detergent is scaffolded for student success and represents a readiness level for the assessment. Students use their homework and previous assessments/activities to determine which detergent has the appropriate activities.

tag(s): assessment (102), classroom management (137), differentiation (47)

In the Classroom

Laundry day allows your students to take ownership of their learning. It also allows the teacher to move around the classroom to assist students and monitor engagement. Post the activities on your learning management site, blog, wiki, or website for students to easily navigate the different "detergents." Provide the learning opportunities online to allow the students to navigate through the different levels. They can work alone, in pairs, or in groups to promote collaboration. Link videos and resources for the students to access to enrich or support the material. For best results, you will want to use this strategy over and over so students become conversant with the terms and strategies.

Use laundry day as an activity to pre-assess your students as well. What detergent did they chose at the beginning of the unit? Students could write a blog post or send an email on the detergent they selected at the of the unit. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Exobrain - Colin Dunn and Nick Gauthier

Grades
1 to 12
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name ...more
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name then drag your mouse to create additional nodes. Create links between nodes by dragging a line between them or remove links by hovering over the line and clicking the scissors. Free accounts allow for three cloud-based maps. Access using the unique url generated for each mind map. The introductory video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not. Be aware: maps can be viewed publicly. Be sure to check your district policy on publishing student work online.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to map out a poem, story, or novel students are reading. Use in managing (and even color-coding) information in any content area. Assess prior knowledge with a class brainstorm. Use as a plan for projects to show all information and all steps for its completion. This would also be a great tool for group projects for your students or even in YOUR grad classes! Teachers in lower grades can create whole class maps together. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since you can only create three maps for free, you might want to compare with other mind-mapping tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge.

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Good.is - GOOD Worldwide, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation ...more
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Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation success stories, educating farmers in remote rural villages to increase their crop yield, creating entrepreneurs who design change, inspiring stories about pets, and so much more. What a refreshing way to start the day! Create a free account, choose topics of interest, and sign up for the daily free newsletter to read what's new (and positive) for those topics. If you find something you are truly passionate about you can follow people, and you can contribute articles. Yes, the Good.is tagline/description has an inappropriate word in it, so use your discretion whether you want to display Good.is pages in front of a class.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): enrichment (13), news (260), newspapers (94), politics (99), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Good.is is perfect for enrichment, research, or a current events class. Include it on your class web page (if you are comfortable with the description: a community of people who give a d---) for students to access both in and out of class. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. For students who enjoy current events, Good.is is a terrific source of up-to-the-minute positive stories from across the web. There is advertising, but it is not too intrusive. Use this site as one of several current event options when asking students to find real world connections to curriculum topics. You can always send students directly to the full articles on their original sites to avoid displaying the Good.is frame at the top. Use articles as writing prompts for blog posts or practice writing informational texts or persuasive writing.

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Population Pyramid - Martin DeWulf

Grades
6 to 12
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first...more
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first letter of its name. The population pyramid is broken into male vs. female and by age groupings of every 5 years from birth to 100+. Hovering over each bar (age grouping) pops up the percentage of the population in that age group and gender. A URL is provided so you can link directly to the specific graphic that you wish to share.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), population (60)

In the Classroom

At a very simple level, this site is great for teaching about reading charts and graphs or math lessons about how to display data. In social studies or science, view and compare the demographics of various countries. Discuss the religious, economic, and health reasons for the shape of the population pyramids. Discuss demographic transitions, developed vs. developing countries, and emerging issues. Use the information when preparing presentations about health and welfare, world cultures, and biological issues concerning the environments and population demographics. Hypothesize reasons for differences, then have students research to test their hypotheses. Research and discuss the issue of population by searching articles from different countries that show a different perspective from ours.

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Longform - longform.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles...more
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles include every imaginable topic. There are publications as "well-known" as New York magazine and as "low-profile" as the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Search for a topic using the search bar or scroll through current offerings on the home page. Narrow down choices by method of reading such as Instapaper or Kindle format. You can also find podcasts about featured publications and articles. Click on an article's title to read online or print using links provided. Choose the read later button to save to your Longform account. Registration using an email address and password is required for this option.

tag(s): expository writing (45), independent reading (129), poetry (225), reading lists (79), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and save articles to use with classroom topics or for independent student reading. Find informational texts to use for Common Core practice. Share this site with students to create their own account to find articles to read. This is definitely a site that you want to list on your class wiki, blog, or website. Teachers of writing can use these articles as examples of different writing styles and of writing with audience and voice in mind. Select more controversial articles to use as writing prompts.

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Quick Picture Tools - QuickPictureTools.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you...more
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you desire, then choose from options offered to edit pictures. When finished, click "generate image" to save to your computer. No registration needed!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (269)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for easy image editing for you and your students for any classroom projects. No registration is required, and images are saved directly to your computer for immediate use. Make simple reminder posters or classroom signs using the text emboss tool. Invite students to create image/text combinations for bulletin boards, such as types of leaves or insects. Make introductions of students as a first day of school activity using digital pictures and the text tool.

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Meograph - Meograph.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what,...more
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Create multimedia stories, maps, and timelines! Easily create a timeline of any event that includes images, videos, and map locations. Create points on the timeline by adding what, when, and where information. Use the record button to narrate events or insert images from your computer or YouTube videos. Share completed timelines on Twitter, Facebook, embed onto a website or blog, or share using social media links on the site. Create pure narratives to tell a story about anything as long as you can place it somewhere and assign it a date. Don't miss the video that demonstrates how to create a story (on the homepage). Best part: you can start without even signing up! However, to "save" your work registration is necessary. Want to learn more? View this Vimeo video.

tag(s): digital storytelling (150), multimedia (59), timelines (63)

In the Classroom

Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Meograph to spark discussion. Create Meographs that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. In lower grades, use a teacher or whole-class creation done on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use pieces of the timeline to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Meographs are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," and more. Create Meographs from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Encourage students to use Meograph to connect a variety of events together in history by creating a timeline or tracking the various discoveries about DNA that have led to present day understandings. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Meograph would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them. See TeachersFirst's Copyright and Fair Use collection for safe sources and more information.

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Voices of Youth - UNICEF

Grades
6 to 12
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions ...more
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions with others around the world on global topics. Topics include poverty, education, human rights, health issues, and much more. Choose from links on the home page to find information on specific topics. Scroll through the page to read the latest posts. Click on tags at the bottom of each article to find related articles. Easily view the site in French or Spanish using links provided at the top of each page. Create your own posts or add comments after registration on the site -- with email or using a Facebook or Twitter account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): dental health (23), disabilities (20), environment (317), hiv/aids (18), inequalities (29), mental health (26), school violence (12)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource to bookmark and use throughout the year when discussing current events, specific countries or geographic areas, or for non-fiction reading. Find informational texts that matter to your students. Spark informational writing, as well. Allow students to browse the site to find interesting articles. Have students create magazine covers of information found on this site using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here. Challenge students to create a newspaper article using articles found on this site as a model using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. World language teachers will find this useful when viewing articles in French or Spanish to practice translation skills.
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Groups in Action - Video Vignettes for Triggering Discussion - Problem Based Learning at University of Delaware

Grades
6 to 12
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late,...more
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late, someone dominating conversations, disinterest in projects, and more. The videos also offer solutions to the common problems. Since collaboration is a much-touted job skill for the 21st century, this resource can help anyone improve their skills-- even adults!

tag(s): problem solving (272), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource when beginning group projects. Most videos are under 3 minutes (even around one minute). It would be feasible to show nearly all videos prior to starting group projects. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display suggested approaches to problems within groups. Use throughout projects as needed to address specific problems that have arisen with groups in your classroom. Make the link available for students to access as needed when frustrations crop up. Counselors and support teachers may also want to use these videos to help students improve interpersonal "smarts" for group work.

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Persuasion Across Time and Space Lesson Plan - Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could...more
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could be useful with high schoolers as well. Each lesson includes an overview of content and goals for the end of lesson. Download the introduction and each of the five lessons using the PDF links provided. All lessons include correlations to Common Core standards and take approximately 4 to 5 days to complete. Each lesson includes all necessary handouts and assessment suggestions. Lesson topics relate to important events and people from American history: Gettysburg Address, civil rights, and others.

tag(s): advertising (33), civil rights (117), gettysburg address (18), martin luther king (37), persuasive writing (54), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Print and use lessons (or portions of lessons) in your classroom. Although geared toward middle school ESL/ELL students, these materials can be adapted and used for any middle and high school students. Challenge your students to write their own persuasive writing pieces. Use this site to teach about historical events in America's past (Gettysburg Address, civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr, and more).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Logic and Values: Critical Thinking - TechNyou

Grades
7 to 12
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TechNyou created this resource explaining critical thinking. Especially good are the six videos and five lessons explaining the valuable argument and broken logic. Besides the videos,...more
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TechNyou created this resource explaining critical thinking. Especially good are the six videos and five lessons explaining the valuable argument and broken logic. Besides the videos, there is a teacher's guide and PowerPoint presentations for each lesson.

tag(s): critical thinking (110), debate (41), logic (236), persuasive writing (54), thinking skills (18)

In the Classroom

Use the Critical Thinking videos as a stand alone, or use them in conjunction with other units. When teaching debate or persuasive writing this will be an invaluable resource. You might also consider using "Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies" reviewed here. Share critical thinking strategies with students, and have the students create lists of how and when these strategies are used in the classroom. Create a bulletin board with critical thinking strategies for your classroom. Use the lessons included on the site as a resource for lessons in your classroom. Bookmark this site and save it in your favorites as a professional resource. Share suggested activities and resources with other staff members. If your school blocks YouTube, use one of these two programs to download videos at home and bring to school on a mini USB drive: KeepVid reviewed here or HD Downloader reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visualead - Quick & Easy Visual QR Code Generator - Nevo Alva, Uriel Peled, and Itamar

Grades
K to 12
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Turn any image into a fully functional QR Code in 3 easy steps that take less than one minute. Upload your image or choose one from Visualead's online gallery. Set ...more
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Turn any image into a fully functional QR Code in 3 easy steps that take less than one minute. Upload your image or choose one from Visualead's online gallery. Set the desired destination for your QR code. Place the QR code where you choose on the image. Upload your image from your computer file or drag and drop from a folder on your computer. Choose from options for the QR link: choose url, vCard, YouTube video, Facebook, or many other web-based media choices. Drag, resize and place your code anywhere on the image. When finished, click on generate to complete the QR code generation process. Login using Facebook, Google, or email to receive the finished image. Share using the social media links or download to your computer. Here is a (link to an example).

A tip: when creating your QR Code, you will see a link to "generate your image" on the last step. It will give you the options of "try again" or "next." Choose "next" to go to the final step. "Try again doesn't mean that your image wasn't created, it just gives you the option for personalizing the code differently before completing the process.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed. Be sure to search TeachersFirst resources for many other great ways to use QR codes in the classroom!

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Gone Google Story Builder - Google

Grades
2 to 12
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Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue....more
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Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue. Continue to choose different characters and dialogue until your story is complete. Not happy with what you wrote? No problem, edit stories at any time in the process. When finished, add music from the list of choices offered or continue without music. Preview your creation at any time using the preview link on each page. When the story is complete enter a title and your name to receive a unique url to share your story. Check out our example Story Builder) created in less than 5 minutes! Note that you cannot return to change your "story" once it is complete.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (150), expository writing (45), paragraph writing (17)

In the Classroom

Use Story Builder to retell a moment in history or a social studies or science concept. Share some samples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students or groups of students create their own Story Builder to retell a story or tell a story from a single character's point of view. Assign student groups to tell a story related to your curriculum. Create a Story Builder at the beginning of a unit with what I want to know questions, or use for the end of a unit as a review. Share student Story Builders with a link on your website or blog. In math class have students explain a procedure using Story Builder. Use Story Builder to create drama scripts or to demonstrate writing skills. Have "Annie Adjective" add colorful words to a draft while "Pete Punctuation" proofs for errors. Have students collaborate to create their own "live" edit sessions using an anonymous student draft you provide or from their OWN writing. By naming the character who is making changes, they can show what they are emphasizing, such as Sam Support adding supporting details when writing informational texts. Teachers of gifted could challenge students to create "epistolary" tales using this tool. Once they discover it, your gifted students will come up with new ways to share projects using this tool (and a little humor).

Engage student and parent attention about important announcements by giving a link to s Story Builder where you explain a project or plans for a special PTA event. Write it as a Q/A session, and they will watch the whole thing!

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Learn English Teens - British Council

Grades
7 to 12
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This teens' branch of Learn English, reviewed here, contains interactives, short stories, poems, grammar bits, and a video zone with many short videos....more
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This teens' branch of Learn English, reviewed here, contains interactives, short stories, poems, grammar bits, and a video zone with many short videos. You can also write captions for humorous photos. The vocabulary zone organizes words into various categories. The exam section gives advice on exam preparation for all types of tests including listening, speaking, and reading as well as study tips. Don't miss the free time section and a magazine with articles written by peers. A free log-in allows teens access to printed versions of the stories (with questions), the ability to make comments, enter competitions, answer polls, and even submit writings. The videos reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Since this site was created in the UK, you will notice some spelling differences from American English.

tag(s): creative writing (167), grammar (216), test prep (95), video (262), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and have your ELL/ESL students use it as one of your learning stations. Short stories and other interactive features of the site would work well with weaker readers and learning support students, too. Encourage your ESL/ELL students to share their writings on Learn English Teens (if allowed by school policy).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Croak.it - Protik Roychowdhury and Srinivasa Teja

Grades
K to 12
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Croak.it allows you to TALK to those who land on your webpage. Your visitors can leave a verbal message for you using the Croakit application program interface (API). (An API...more
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Croak.it allows you to TALK to those who land on your webpage. Your visitors can leave a verbal message for you using the Croakit application program interface (API). (An API is similar to embedding a mini version of the tool.) The beauty of this audio recorder is that it works on many types of devices, including iOS (iPad, iTouch, iPhone), Android phones, or in a regular computer browser. And it's free. There is no email sign up. Their slogan is, "Push. Speak. Share." Leave a message up to 30 seconds on your page. You can push to stop at any time. Once you have created your Croak.it, you have the choice to adjust the tempo and pitch. Share your Croak.it through Facebook or Twitter. Copy the URL and put it on your webpage, in your email, on your blog, etc. Use Croak.it to express yourself using your voice, which is much more interesting than reading text! The only part of this program that uses Flash is the introductory video.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

The potential for using Croak.it for and with your students is limitless. As you create (or update) your website at the beginning of the school year, considering using this site to verbally greet all visitors! Record a message for absent students explaining something done in class and email it to them. Leave verbal instructions on your web page or homework page that might be too complicated to write out or for your students to read. This program has incredible promise for use with learning-support students, speech and language students, ESL/ELL students, non-readers, and for differentiating instruction. If your students have blogs, consider adding Croak.It to their blog pages for spoken comments. An excellent idea from the blog "Inquiry Live in the Classroom" is to use Croak.it with QR Codes and have your students make 30 second book reviews for your classroom or school library. Students can then scan the code of a book they think they are interested in reading to see what others think of it, or to get a 30 second summary of it. Use Croak.it for tutorials on your website. Use a QR Code generator and put the code next to diagrams in text books. To view many more ideas see "QR Codes and Using Them in the Classroom," reviewed here, and know that you can combine these with the use of Croak.it, too. There are many personal ways you and your students can use this program: create a wish list, Mother's Day or birthday greeting, a message to a grandparent, or a recording of part of a picture book for a younger sibling. Because of the 30 second time limit, encourage students to rehearse (never a bad idea) before recording. One suggestion for saving recordings is to create a Google Form or wiki page where students can use to submit their recording links. This allows you to collect student recordings without having to use an e-mail account. Speech and language teachers could create wiki pages (on a private wiki) for each student to record samples throughout the year to demonstrate progress with articulation. World language teachers could record assignments and ask students to respond orally on a class wiki.

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