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Tammy Worcester's Tech Tip of the Week - Tammy Worcester

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find a wealth of ideas and tips for using technology in your classroom. Tammy Worcester, an instructional technology specialist for ESSDACK and ISTE presenter, compiles her tips of...more
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Find a wealth of ideas and tips for using technology in your classroom. Tammy Worcester, an instructional technology specialist for ESSDACK and ISTE presenter, compiles her tips of the week here. Other portions of the site include her book sales and paid training and consultation services. See a list of over 100 technology of the week tips, such as creating lesson plans as a Google spreadsheet, sharing lesson plans using Google, as well as publishing them. Follow simple step by step instructions with screen shots embedded for even the most wary technology user. You will also find lists of internet resources given by category. Find 18 ideas and activities explained in simple formats. Some activities include: All about me scavenger hunt, idiom slide show, multiplication charts, Tall Tales, and poetry. This site is ever-growing, so check back often.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): folktales (65), idioms (44), number sense (97), operations (126), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Trying to think of new ways to use technology with your students (in all grades?). Want to learn just one small tip each week? The weekly tips are a great ice-breaker to using technology and new teaching ideas in your classroom. Try that one tip that is suggested and explore more as you feel comfortable.

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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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Defenders of Wildlife - Defenders of Wildlife

Grades
7 to 12
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Defenders of Wildlife is chalk full of useful, current information about wildlife conservation, threats to the natural environment, and fact sheets about specific species of animals,...more
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Defenders of Wildlife is chalk full of useful, current information about wildlife conservation, threats to the natural environment, and fact sheets about specific species of animals, as well as much more! Explaining concepts such as climate change, off-shore drilling and renewable energy this site is an invaluable environmental resource. Plus, all information comes with interesting photos and an easy to navigate menu of further information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), conservation (127), endangered species (38), environment (317)

In the Classroom

This would be an excellent resource for an environmental science class. Add to online course sites as an alternative to textbooks. Create assignments where students are directed to this site to read for understanding of the topics that are being discussed. For students in more advanced environmental studies, the section on Policy and Legislation is great. It is far more understandable than reading through the actual laws and policies. Have students read the website information on a specific policy or law, and then have the students find the actual law to "check up" on the site. This will encourage students to make comparisons between the reading that they could easily understand and the more complicated language of the actual laws. This simple exercise could be incorporated in an English or reading comprehension classroom or a science classroom (what a great way to do a little cross curricular teaching!). Students will learn to read more analytically in the process!
 This resource requires 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.
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Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs To Know - Rod Lucier

Grades
7 to 12
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Confused about the images and content that you can use in your classes? Be sure to view this slideshare presentation to understand copyright and the classroom. ...more
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Confused about the images and content that you can use in your classes? Be sure to view this slideshare presentation to understand copyright and the classroom.
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tag(s): copyright (47)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share the link to this resource for teachers in the district. Place the link on your classroom computer or link to your blog, wiki, or site for access by students to understand the copyright law.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Museum of Obsolete Objects - MoooJvM

Grades
6 to 12
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete"...more
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete" items from the 1860s to 2000s. (Note: if your school blocks YouTube, this site will not be accessible. Ask to have this specific url unblocked).

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use as a introductory video into science and technology. Identify the science understanding and concepts needed to change the technologies. Brainstorm other technologies that could be added to this list from the various decades. Brainstorm together using a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here). Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific decade and determine what was a new invention then but is no longer used today. Have students create slideshows using Zoho Show (reviewed here). Display these on a blog or wiki for students to review and comment. Assign students to do a written or recorded interview of those who have used these old technologies to find out how life has changed before and after the technology.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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5min Life Videopedia - 5 Min Media, Ltd.

Grades
7 to 12
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games ...more
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games and much more! The how-to videos are great too! The main page features current news highlights. You can join this site, but it is not necessary to view the videos. Please be advised that not all topics are class or school appropriate. The "Knowledge" section has many school-related topics, but there are also useful How-tos in other areas. Preview and select what to share. Videos include short ads at the start. Once the ad is over, you can click the small link icon to find a direct link or embed code for that video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), dance (28), fashion (10), fitness (49), news (261), nutrition (154), origami (17), photography (160), video (254)

In the Classroom

This resource would be fantastic as a lesson or as a class opener to get students thinking about a particular topic. It also would be helpful for relating classroom topics and content to real life events. Filter the appropriate videos for your students by embedding them in a on your own website or wiki so that students are not distracted. With older students, you can have them use this as a resource to embed video clips or links in presentations and projects for their own classes. Try sharing one of the How To videos with your students in science class, and then have them make their own how to five minute video to demonstrate a lab. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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

Grades
K to 12
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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 ...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
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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 ...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 (46)

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
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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...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
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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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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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Headline Clues - Michigan State University

Grades
8 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in...more
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in the blank phrases. What an excellent tool for researching and reading comprehension! There are three levels of difficulty. Choose from favorite news topics on the main page: sports, world and U.S. news, technology, off-beat, entertainment, and even the New York Times. Other publications available for headline finding are NPR and New Scientist. Although this is an activity in "game" format, it is an excellent reading skill builder. Students can see how many letters are missing; they use both semantic and syntactic clues to complete the headlines. Options include a timer and a speed meter. As you play, ask the site for clues to help. Due to the graphic nature of some of the headlines, this site is recommended for mature middle school students or high school students.

tag(s): context clues (8), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (94), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Use this "game" as an introduction when studying the latest news stories and/or basic reading comprehension. Teach reading in context when explaining to students how the activity works. Use the headline builder as a jumping off point for teaching summary writing based on news stories. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an "ice-breaker" for the start of class or as one of several reading activities during newspapers in education week.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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