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CodeCombat - CodeCombat

Grades
3 to 12
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing...more
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Harness the power of problem solving with CodeCombat. CodeCombat provides a unique challenge to learn code while playing an engaging game. Escape enemies or navigate a dungeon by typing basic JavaScript commands. Each level of play provides a new challenge for programmers to experiment the best way to accomplish the goals of the game. Write JavaScript code to direct the character's actions, and then run the code to see what happens. Correct the code if needed to complete the level. Programmers earn accessories, XP, and achievement badges after conquering a level. A series of five stars indicates the difficulty for each level. CodeCombat never feels like a gamified coding course because it makes learning fun. The emphasis is on the game instead of the code. CodeCombat is free to play, but an email is required to create an account to save information and for the multiplayer option. A premium upgrade is available for a fee. This review is for the FREE portion only.

tag(s): coding (47), creativity (109), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. Create an after school coding club for students to access the site. Challenge students to write stories to accompany each level of code they complete in CodeCombat. Encourage students to create as they become more advanced in CodeCombat. Provide an environment for students to collaborate to solve the levels.

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American Bald Eagle Foundation - Bald Eagle Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Fly into the Bald Eagle Foundation, in Haines Alaska, dedicated to the preservation of this national symbol. Discover eagle facts and incredible image galleries. Read more about the...more
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Fly into the Bald Eagle Foundation, in Haines Alaska, dedicated to the preservation of this national symbol. Discover eagle facts and incredible image galleries. Read more about the museum, festival, and preserve in Haines, Alaska. Be sure to click on Festival on the top menu. Find a YouTube video full of beautiful vistas for Haines, Alaska, plenty of history, and cool, unusual information about the bald eagle. If your district blocks YouTube, this video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it 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): endangered species (38), extinction (4)

In the Classroom

Study the bald eagle and its current status as no longer endangered. Use as a research site for bald eagle information. Show the video under the Festivals tab on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If you do not wish to show all scenes in the video use a program like Reel Surfer, reviewed here, to show only the portions of the video you want your students to see. Look for an animal in your area, and research it. Do a Problem Based Learning Project on creating dioramas and information for creating public awareness. Create a festival to promote the preservation of the species. Have students create commercials and posters to meet speaking and listening standards. For online posters use a program like CheckThis, reviewed here. Create a public blog for an ongoing research watch. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Breaking News - NBC News Digital Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one ...more
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one of the headlines to read the story that comes from a variety of news sources. Click on the globe icon on the upper right of the news page to view the world map. This shows the location of where the stories originate. Clicking on the dots on the map also take you to the stories. This tool is available on web browsers, iOS, and Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), globe (14), maps (288), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects. Assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter. The reports should keep their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what is going on via this news site, and give a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can do an oral presentation or create a short video summarizing the same information. View several news articles from different areas and discuss bias and point of view from other cities and countries. Choose dots on the map randomly from the various sections to see what is trending in different regions. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): computers (94), engineering (125), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (134), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Kotobana - Kotobana

Grades
K to 12
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including ...more
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including this one our editors made using the word "teaching." Click +draw to make your own. Enter a single, short word and choose options such as font and color scheme. Give it a name, and it will be added to the Gallery. There are other sharing options for the designs you make, but many are labeled in Japanese! If you click to open it from the Gallery, you can copy its direct url from your address bar to save as a Favorite or share with others. Turn off autoplay in the Gallery to keep your design on the screen. Roll your mouse over a design (or tap it on a tablet) to make it spin! You can share to Facebook and Pinterest directly. The easiest way to share is by saving the url or by taking a screenshot of your finished design (Printscrn button on Windows or Command+Shift+4 on Mac). You also have the option to actually print. Note that the gallery could have word designs that may be in other languages or possibly be inappropriate for young people. Our editors found nothing objectionable at the time of this review. Preview to be safe. Click the sound on/off option in the footer to turn off the music as you enjoy the site.

tag(s): design (84), graphic design (35), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate radial symmetry in an art or math class using this tool. As you teach letter shapes in kindergartens, try making a design to help your students see the shape in this colorful format. If you teach about fonts in an art or graphic design class, this tool can spark discussion about the design elements of letter forms. An idea for elementary or middle school teachers: Have students create "flowers" of their own names (or shortened nicknames) as a getting to know you activity during the first week of school. Post the design screenshot images on your class web page or print them to put in the hallway.

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Word Wars - Clay.io

Grades
1 to 8
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Sharpen your spelling and word finding abilities with the addicting challenge Word Wars! Race against the clock (90 seconds) to find as many words that you can connect in the ...more
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Sharpen your spelling and word finding abilities with the addicting challenge Word Wars! Race against the clock (90 seconds) to find as many words that you can connect in the given word array. Earn points for words. You can click on the letters to form the words or spell the words using your keyboard.

tag(s): crosswords (18), phonics (75), sight words (37), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Introduce Word Wars on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a reward time activity for a whole class, teams, or individuals. After introducing, use at centers. Add to your website for spelling practice. For older students have them create their own Word War arrays using vocabulary or spelling words.

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Travel By Drone - Jan Hiersemenzel

Grades
K to 12
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different ...more
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different views of the area are provided. Search for specific cities, select editors' choices, or see the "Latest" drone footage. As with any Google map there are the usual navigation tools. To see if the area you want to view has footage, scroll through the map. The Drone footage is 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): cities (25), countries (77), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), setting (11), video (253)

In the Classroom

This site is continually adding new places to see. If you don't find what you want, check back frequently. Make geography come to life by showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool to explore how it looks in the country or city studied in world cultures (or languages). Explore geography concepts, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Students creating a multimedia presentation with a setting can look at Travel By Drone to see if there is footage they can use.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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): assessment (99), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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Elementary Science Resource Kit - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and...more
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and famous inventors. While learning about the famous inventors, also learn the value of scientific thinking! Build thinking skills with the challenging culmination piece. These range from creating riddles to creating brochures and journals. All units include step by step directions, Science Content Standards (NSES), ELA Common Core Anchor Standards, and NETS. In addition, there is a list of resources to use and a suggestion for assessment. You MUST register to view the lessons. To register simply give your name and email, and download all seven of these units for free!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (276), biomes (116), butterflies (13), famous people (19), inventors and inventions (101), life cycles (25), planets (123), scientific method (64), scientists (68), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in hands-on, inquiry projects with these seven plans. Introduce them on your interactive whiteboard or projector and select a class project to complete. Have student groups choose a topic to research. Created for grades 1 to 5, with one for 5-8, any of the plans could be adjusted to fit any of these grade levels. The science kit lesson plans are free, and so are some of the resources they suggest using, such as Pics4Learning, reviewed here. However, the Pixie and Wixie program that the lesson advises using is not free. Instead, use QwikSlides, reviewed here, or RawShorts, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark these units for future use.

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Give Me Sport - givemesport.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Give Me Sport is an online magazine offering the most current sports news, opinions, videos, and more. Choose specific sports categories or view articles by what is trending and the...more
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Give Me Sport is an online magazine offering the most current sports news, opinions, videos, and more. Choose specific sports categories or view articles by what is trending and the latest news. Find more global sports information by choosing to view the UK version instead of the US version of the magazine (use the drop down box at the top of the page). This site contains options for comments on all articles that are not moderated. Be sure to preview comments before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (126), journalism (46), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Offer Give Me Sport as an alternative to reluctant readers for independent reading. Challenge students to find articles and then research additional information for writing projects or biography reports. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook featuring a sports personality.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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A Soft Murmur - Gabriel Martin

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds...more
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Use the slider bar at the top of the page to adjust sound levels as needed.

tag(s): creative writing (166), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Does your class have silent reading time, or are you reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use a background sound as mood music to set the stage for your story. Use the sounds during creative writing exercises. Why not listen to waves or water while studying them?! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them over stimulating while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Becoming a Common Core Ninja - Rich Clark and CoreStand

Grades
K to 12
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Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom,...more
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Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom, and C.O.R.E Classrooms in Practice. The e-book also features many excellent templates for use in Common Core classrooms (pages 21-25).

tag(s): commoncore (92), ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Use Becoming a Common Core Ninja as part of your ongoing professional development with Common Core Standards. Enlist other teachers to download the book and discuss by chapters as part of a book club. Share information from this book with coworkers and administrators as you work toward understanding and teaching Common Core Standards.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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30 Hands - Cloud - Eric Braun & Carmen Ferrara

Grades
4 to 12
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials ...more
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials you will use for the lesson. In order to see all 30 Hands offers, click on "Take the Tour." Sign up for this tool with your email and create a course. Be sure to look on the right menu to find the course code to give to students when they sign up. In the creation of your course, you can include presentations, videos, assignments, a blog, student portfolios, surveys, discussion forums, groups within a class roster, and more. There are plenty of step by step directions for every aspect of setting up your course. Students can access 30 Hands on any device.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (134), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Once you create the course you will have access to a home page that can include multimedia. Your courses can also include a calendar, digital bookshelves to organize content, a presentation showcase, a timeline and forum for discussions, a blog for students, student portfolios, small group collaboration, and interactive assignments. This tool can easily be your classroom online!

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Vox - Vox Media

Grades
7 to 12
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Find thoughtful articles written to explain today's news, especially the stories that are most difficult to understand. The article topics vary widely and include offerings from sports,...more
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Find thoughtful articles written to explain today's news, especially the stories that are most difficult to understand. The article topics vary widely and include offerings from sports, politics, pop culture, public policy, world affairs, food, business, health, and many other topics. Just as the news may include tough or adult topics, so may Vox. You might want to preview or direct less mature young people to a specific article instead of allowing them to browse the entire site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share specific articles from this site -- or a collection of them-- for students to gain experience with informational texts that demystify the headlines they are seeing on the TV screen crawl. Use examples from this site as models for student groups to do research to explain a science or economics topic that has been in the news and share it with peers as a digital poster showing the top ten things they should know about X. Use a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create a "poster" of sticky notes. Not only will your students gain experience reading for understanding, but also choosing the most important things to know from an article. Use this approach for students to research and share articles in health class (such as on new vaccines or discoveries) or on national issues during an election cycle. Be sure to include this link on your class web page for upper grade students to find current events articles (along with a disclaimer that some topics may be controversial).

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slides - Whim, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides...more
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides uses html5 to accommodate iOS. Sharing slides is a cinch with all the features offered to creators, and this site accommodates your presentation preferences. Send a Slides presentation through email, print as a .pdf, present offline, or sync with your DropBox account (reviewed here). Collaborate with a teammate or keep your work secure and private. Custom CSS is available for your own themes or tweak slides templates provided for your convenience. Slides offers other fantastic features such as math formulas to insert in your presentations as well as a revision history. The many style options make slides a slick site to create presentations. Premium options are available for purchase. However, this review only highlights the free features of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use slides to support presentations in the classroom. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Search for Creative Commons licensed images related to classroom content using Compfight reviewed here to create a slideshow. Slides is a great resource for your BYOD classroom. Create supporting presentations for lessons and take advantage of the math formula feature. Encourage students to create presentations to support book talks and share them on a library website. Slides is your collaboration destination for students to work together on assignments.

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After the Deadline - polishmywriting.com

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive...more
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Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive feedback. The site provides color-coded suggestions for revisions in spelling, grammar, or style. If you like After the Deadline, they offer an add-on for the Firefox web browser and an extension for the Google Chrome web browser. There are also plug-ins for self-hosted WordPress blogs and forums.

tag(s): editing (60), proofreading (19), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. After the Deadline is a wonderful program to use for revision after self-editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Put the URL on your website for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

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Group Maker Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an ...more
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an email and create a password for your group. Add up to 100 names to your class list. Choose the number of groups to make. You can even choose to make pairs!

In the Classroom

Although a bit awkward and slow to get started, this tool is helpful for creating random groups for many purposes. It is best to create your class list ahead of time then you can easily create groups anytime on the fly! Use this tool to create groups for cooperative learning, class plays, presentations, computer centers, field trips, and much more.

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