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Snapguide - Heavy Bits

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for an easy to use "how to" guide? You must visit Snapguide! Find various topics: Sports & Fitness, Technology, Cooking, Music, Arts & Crafts, Gardening, and countless others....more
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Looking for an easy to use "how to" guide? You must visit Snapguide! Find various topics: Sports & Fitness, Technology, Cooking, Music, Arts & Crafts, Gardening, and countless others. You can view all of the content of this site without joining. Create your own "how to" guide on any topic. It's a "snap" to create the directions with pictures. Use your computer or iOS device to create a guide. Download the app onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to create a guide for explaining anything! Each page contains a picture and text to explain the parts for your guide.

tag(s): computers (94), crafts (40), directions (20), fitness (49), photography (160), sequencing (31), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share the ready-made snapguides in various classes: family and consumer science, music, art, photography, science, computer, and more! Create your own snapguides to share with your class on any subject matter. ESL/ELL and other special needs students will learn better seeing the photos along with the instructions. Use Snapguide to explain a lesson or a project that has multiple directions. Use Snapguide for directions for parents. Create a snapguide for your students when leaving plans for a substitute teacher. Students can also create their own snapguides to use as presentations and even for sequencing practice. These re the perfect prompts for writing and giving informative, how-to speeches. Students can explore the guides available and follow directions or even evaluate their effectiveness. Have cooperative learning groups create their own snapguides to share a new topic with the class. Encourage students to use Snapguide to illustrate their math solutions, discuss the completion and science behind a lab experiment, or show cause and effect.

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Talk Typer - 2012 TalkTyper

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Your spoken words are instantly changed to written text. You need to use the Chrome browser for this site to work properly. Just click on the microphone and speak. Follow ...more
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Your spoken words are instantly changed to written text. You need to use the Chrome browser for this site to work properly. Just click on the microphone and speak. Follow simple directions and immediately begin to dictate. You need to the Chrome browser for this site to work properly. As soon as speech is ready, it appears in red, and you push ok. Corrections are suggested in red. If your speech is not recognized, there is an alternatives button to help you dictate correctly. You can also click on the speaker button to hear the written words played back to you. Click the blue arrow to move the text down to the larger text box. There you can store several phrases or sentences together. Choose to print, email, or tweet your message. Talk Typer is also available in a variety of languages. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly. This is best used with short phrases or sentences.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Talk Typer is a very versatile tool, for students, parents, and teachers alike. Bypass poor typing skills, dysgraphia, dyslexia, and physical disabilities. Use this tool in emails, documents, or anything requiring typed text. Use in your writing class so students can either write or edit their work. Use when you are in a hurry with emails requiring long text. Use for your newsletters or family emails. Share this on your class website and at Back to School Night. Emerging literacy students will enjoy the success they have with their oral language into written word. Improve content and forget about mechanics of writing or typing. Focus in on grammar and mechanics after seeing the recognized mistakes. Include this website on every tool bar and as a favorite on your class web page. ELL students can speak English, play it back, and correct it until it "sounds right" and expresses their ideas correctly.

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Vozme - Festival Speech Synthesis System Centre for Speech Technology

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Change text into speech in your email messages, in your browser, website, or Wordpress blog. VozMe is free and easy. Save as an MP3 file and expand your possibilities. Languages ...more
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Change text into speech in your email messages, in your browser, website, or Wordpress blog. VozMe is free and easy. Save as an MP3 file and expand your possibilities. Languages include Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Hindi, and Apache. You can also choose a male or female voice.

tag(s): text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Create a verbal classroom using speech in your email messages, blog, browser searches, and even class discussions, read alouds, and simple explanations. Lower elementary classes, ESL/ELL, or learning support classes can enjoy greater independence with both verbal and written text. Let students try making a blog post with synthesized speech. ELL students can hear written language to build listening skills and relate written English to the spoken sounds. Send an email with an anticipatory activity for a content lesson by polling, asking a question, or offering food for thought. At the end of the unit, have students create a review for content area subjects. Use in your writing class for students to listen to their own work read aloud. This allows for easier self-revisions. Share all written work on your class blog, allowing everyone to share (with parental permission, of course). Enjoy giving students writing prompts or homework assignments spoken aloud, playable as many times as each individual needs. Send a quick email to a sick or absent student, adding a more personal touch with them hearing your message. Use to read poetry or to illustrate inflection and emotion in your speech. Enjoy all the talking and listening you and your class will do!

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TED-Ed Lessons Worth Sharing - Ted.com

Grades
6 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Find videos recorded by professional educators. These are not just the humdrum lecture type videos you might expect. These are dynamic speakers, energized by their desire to share what...more
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Find videos recorded by professional educators. These are not just the humdrum lecture type videos you might expect. These are dynamic speakers, energized by their desire to share what they've learned and know. The videos are even more appealing because of the professional animators who worked in the background (with the educators) to get the message across to the audience. You can search these videos by "Series" or by "Subject." Every video has a Quick Quiz with basic comprehension questions, and real time answers. If you get an answer wrong, you will receive a video hint to help you get it correct. Every video has a "Think" section with open ended questions. Every video has a Dig Deeper section with additional resources for exploring the topic. You can take one of these videos, a video from YouTube, or any other video with a URL and "flip" them to make them your own. You can change the title, put in instructions, discard or keep the questions, create your own questions. In other words, you can make the video your own, to suit your needs. Once you save the video it will have a unique URL so you can track the progress and participation of anyone using it. Don't miss such clever offerings as David Hunter's video about the importance of geography concepts in deciding "How do you decide where to go in a zombie apocalypse?" Ted-Ed is only part of the TED offerings. View the full TED site reviewed here.

tag(s): business (58), design (84), literature (275), psychology (64), religions (61), video (253)

In the Classroom

Choose a video or create your own videos for students to use for review. After students view a video that has the questions, show one that doesn't, and have students generate questions for it. Assign videos for students to view at home or in the computer lab. Use them as a springboard for engaging writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool reviewed here. Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it realistic to use them in a one-period class lesson.

Show a video or two with your class and discuss the set up of the lesson. Discuss the difference between basic comprehension questions and open-ended questions. Show your students an inspirational video or two from TED reviewed here. As a class, pick out eight or ten of the TED videos and allow students to sign up to work on one of the videos. Have cooperative learning groups develop a TED Ed video lesson. You will need to proofread all work using a word processor, before allowing students to upload their questions on TED Ed.

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Button Beats - Buttonbeats.com

Grades
K to 12
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Make music using this creative tool. Play the instruments by moving your mouse over the keys, or use your computer's keyboard. To play with your computer keyboard, click the "activate...more
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Make music using this creative tool. Play the instruments by moving your mouse over the keys, or use your computer's keyboard. To play with your computer keyboard, click the "activate keyboard control button" on the right side of the piano. Play single notes or chords (hit two or more keys at the same time to play the chord). Use the built-in metronome and a chord chart. Switch from piano to organ mode and play other instruments. Sheet music is converted to a sequence of letters you type on the computer keyboard to play the actual song. The video here gives great directions on using the Button beats music player. Unfortunately this site requires Flash, so it will not work on touch-friendly iOS devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): music theory (42), musical instruments (48), musical notation (35), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Create original background music for any multimedia project or a lead-in for podcasts. Since the created music is original it is not a copyright concern. Use this site to teach basic music concepts on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. This is a great tool for music classes or students learning to play the piano. Challenge students to RECORD their own creative pieces and share with the class. Have students create music to express their reactions to current events, social issues, after reading a book, or whatever relates to your curriculum.

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Lesson Stream - Jamie Keddie

Grades
K to 12
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Lessonstream offers 70+ English lessons originally intended for ELL/ESL learners. They are divided by ability levels, listed according to topic, language aim, learner type, and lesson...more
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Lessonstream offers 70+ English lessons originally intended for ELL/ESL learners. They are divided by ability levels, listed according to topic, language aim, learner type, and lesson time. Each lesson includes images or a video, preparation tasks, text prompts and then the lesson plan. Many include additional printouts to supplement the lesson. Explore the site in several ways: browse all lessons page by page, time needed for lesson, learner type, main activity, language aim, or materials. Download lessons using the PDF link provided with each lesson. "Pinned" images provide age level information, activity type, and language skill addressed for each activity. Most lessons are aimed at middle school learners and above. However, there are several for younger students and worth taking a look if you teach younger grades.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): narrative (24), parts of speech (68), punctuation (43), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site to access lesson plans throughout the year. Lesson plans cover multiple grade levels in many different English content areas. Resources can enrich, or even give further explanation to current topics of study. Teachers of English/language arts and special ed will find some of the lessons quite applicable for all students, not just ELL.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Times Spelling Bee - Times Newspapers Ltd.

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Practice spelling and recognizing word definitions with engaging interactives provided by the Times Spelling Bee. Choose the Play and Train option for several different spelling...more
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Practice spelling and recognizing word definitions with engaging interactives provided by the Times Spelling Bee. Choose the Play and Train option for several different spelling and word games. Titles include Spelling Bee, Word Workout, Mini Bees, and others. Spelling Bee offers an oral pronunciation of the word. You type the correct spelling in the box. Replay the word to hear again, or choose from word help to find the part of speech and definitions. Choose from different grade levels in Mini Bees to hear words. Play Missing Letters to spell words with missing letters in sentences. Registration is optional and allows for play of additional games and to track scores. Note - this is a British site so words are given with a British accent so some definitions, pronunciations, and spellings may differ from American English!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to play on their own at classroom computers. Challenge students to increase scores in games by recording scores in individual folders after each session. Have students write down words or definitions missed and use as spelling words when giving individualized spelling lists. Share the link to this site on your class website or blog for students to use at home. Be sure to talk about the differences in spelling between British and American English!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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QR Codes and Ideas for Using Them in the Classroom - Karen Ogen

Grades
K to 12
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Learn what QR codes are and how to use them in a classroom. There are ideas for literacy, math, art, social studies, science, and more. The slideshow provides some quick ...more
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Learn what QR codes are and how to use them in a classroom. There are ideas for literacy, math, art, social studies, science, and more. The slideshow provides some quick tips for using QR (Quick Response) codes in the classroom. It begins with a short explanation of QR codes, how to generate them, and applications for reading them. Most ideas are easy to use immediately in a classroom setting. For example, use QR codes to link to book reviews in library books or add a QR code to student-produced artwork with a link to the student reading a story or describing their work. If you are interested in using QR codes in your classroom, this slideshow will help you get started. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom of the article for some additional ideas for using QR codes. There are also a few links provided for more information and video instructions.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

All it takes to use a QR code is a device such as an iTouch or phone to aim at the code. Even very young students can aim at a code to open a web page or game. Make objects in your classroom play a song (on a web page) or teach. Choose one of the ideas suggested in the slideshow as a starting point for using QR codes in your classroom. Try additional ideas a little at a time. Share the slideshow with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies. Share your experiences as you learn together. Form a classroom "tech team" of interested students to try out an idea before launching it with the full class. Let them become experts along with you. Meet together over lunch or before/after school to become QR masters.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inhabitat - Inhabitat, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles...more
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles about improvements in architecture, interiors, energy, technology, transportation, fashion, art, and kids. Read blog posts about advancements in each of the categories. Below the posts are related topics of additional interest. This site appears to be updated often, so be sure to check back.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317), inventors and inventions (101), persuasive writing (55), resources (112)

In the Classroom

When discussing environmental topics, be sure to share this link on your class website or on a class computer for students to access information about great technological breakthroughs. Use when students are researching technological advancements of their choice. Challenge individual students or cooperative learning groups to read one of the articles and report their findings to the class, making connections to some of the topics you study. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. If you teach about advertising techniques inventions, challenge your students to select a "product" from this site to create a new advertisement using a specific technique. The innovative ideas will spark their interest! Use articles from this site for reading comprehension selections that will interest even the most reluctant readers. The articles are also useful prompts for persuasive writing or debates.

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How to embed almost anything in your website - Amit Agarwal

Grades
K to 12
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This simple blog site offers directions for embedding practically anything in a web site. Directions are included for photos, RSS feeds, YouTube videos and other videos, podcasts, and...more
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This simple blog site offers directions for embedding practically anything in a web site. Directions are included for photos, RSS feeds, YouTube videos and other videos, podcasts, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), portfolios (28), resources (112), video (253)

In the Classroom

If you have students creating projects using online tools, embedding is often the best way for them to collect projects all in one place. Often the tools are not clear about how to manage the details of embedding, to this reference is very helpful. If your students create ME-portfolios to showcase their work to colleges or potential employers, embedding is a must. Link to this site from your class web page of general resources to help today's tech-savvy students learn how to embed from various applications. Provide this link on your class website, wiki or blog for students (and parents) to access at school and at home. Teachers can create a class wiki or web site using embedding, even in school-subscription web site services. Share your elementary class's creative projects by embedding them on your class site so parents can see their great work. This site wil help you learn how.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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IconBug.com - ClipArt Free - IconBug 2011

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new free clipart to add to projects, presentations, and websites? With over 10,000 images and a keyword search function, IconBug makes locating and using clipart easy....more
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Looking for some new free clipart to add to projects, presentations, and websites? With over 10,000 images and a keyword search function, IconBug makes locating and using clipart easy. Simply click on the image to download. With Mac, the image automatically downloads as a PNG. With a PC, you need to choose to save the image. Either way, it is easy to use and there is no need to worry about image copyright. Each image page specifically tells you whether icons/clip art are free for personal use, for commercial use, or both. Note that many do require that you give credit via link back to their site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): clip art (10), creative commons (21), images (265)

In the Classroom

Share this link with your students so they have safe images to use in projects beyond the standard images in their computer software. If you worry that students will spend far too much time making up their minds, download a smaller collection, including the links to give proper credit, to share locally as part of a project assignment. Use clipart to spice up your activity sheets and rubrics. Use clipart images in learning support, speech and language, or life skills classrooms to teach words using images. This method could also be applied for students learning a new language. World language teachers can create a presentation of pictures and speak the words in the world language to help students learn. An extension of this type of activity could also be helpful with ESL/ELL students in your classroom. The handy icons here would also work well for sharing link collections visually using a tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here.

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Introducing the ELA Common Core - Kevin's Meandering Mind

Grades
K to 12
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that ...more
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that are taking place, video clips explaining WHAT the Common Core means, and where Common Core plans to go.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

This Prezi is very useful for the introduction of the Common Core standards to faculty or parents. This would be a great presentation to share at faculty meetings, inservice, or even at Back to School Night (probably a short clip, not the entire presentation). Share this link on your class website for parents (and older students) to learn more about the Common Core.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pause For Later - Pause For Later

Grades
K to 12
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and ...more
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and install the bookmarklet or extension. Sign up for a free account for the server to store details of your paused videos. The program also keeps a record of the videos you watch, saving you from having to bookmark or search for them later. The program has extensions or bookmarklets for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. There is an "Action" button on the side of the video that allows you to restart from the beginning and mark it as unmarked. There are several other features. After installing the extension, you'll see a pause button in your browser. Continue your paused videos from any computer, not just the one where you paused them.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

If a video is too long to share during one class period, use this tool to pick up where you left the video. It is worthwhile to ask the techies to install it at least on your teacher machine if school machines are locked down. Share this with your students when you assign videos to be watched from home, queuing the video to the start point you want the to use. Encourage students to mark start points for videos they include in oral presentations. Save them time searching if they get interrupted while viewing. This would be a useful tool to share on your class website.
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40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets ...more
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets for students to check answers or to go to a video explanation for completing the worksheet. Another idea: print a QR code on a sticker and place into textbooks for students to access additional content. Add to displays or bulletin boards to make them interactive. There are many great ideas shared on this site. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone using or wanting to use QR codes in their classroom. Of course, you do need to have devices that can read the QR codes; smart phones and iTouches work well.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Choose one of the ideas suggested in the slideshow as a starting point for using QR codes. Try additional ideas one at a time. Share the slideshow with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies. Share your experiences as you learn together. Challenge your students to dream up other uses for the codes. As a service project, students could create a QR code school "tour" or add QR codes for students to use while waiting in the cafeteria line to access nutrition information about today's menu.
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Twitter - Education Chats - Chat Scheduler

Grades
K to 12
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This ...more
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This is just the educational chats. You can find diverse chats about everything from leadership, to minimalist running enthusiasts, to 4th grade teachers, and more. You'll probably find something that piques your interest! Some of the chats occur live, but many are ongoing. Not free at a chat time? You can always read the tweets later.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educational and professional chats that match your interests and needs. Read the tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Students in upper grades interested in a particular career or trying to find a mentor in an area of interest could use this. You may want to preview and pick out certain hashtags for your student(s). Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Widbook - Flavio Aguiar

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others...more
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others to make contributions to your books. Create a profile on the site to begin your book or collaborate with others (or you can skip this step). Books you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. You can change setting to allow comments and additions on a book or not. Likewise, you can search for others' books and contribute to their books. The only way to share your books is with others logged into Widbook or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Create books on any subject for your students to review or learn. Set up a whole class account or use individual accounts with those 13 and older if school policy allows it. Challenge students to create a book as a multi-media presentation instead of a typical book report. This would be great to use for a student/star of the week presentation. Each week add a student's information. Do this together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link (and log in) on classroom computers for students to view the book when they wish. Use this tool for groups to collaborate on science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool with a whole class account, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Have students create a book as an end of the year culminatng/review project.

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Cropp.me - imagga

Grades
4 to 12
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail,...more
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail, Facebook timeline cover image, or you can select a custom size (width and height) for your particular purpose. Crop up to 5 images simultaneously. The site detects the most interesting part of each image to use when cropping. Adjust the placement as needed. When finished, select images to keep and download to your computer.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Quickly and easily crop pictures and images to any desired size for use in projects and presentations. Share with students to use with projects and presentations for making images uniform in size.
 

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CurriConnects Book List: USA Regional Books - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Discover books about each of the fifty United States and selected U.S. regions. Move beyond state facts and immerse readers of any age in the life of a state or ...more
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Discover books about each of the fifty United States and selected U.S. regions. Move beyond state facts and immerse readers of any age in the life of a state or region. This extensive list is sorted by state, with books listed in ascending level "bands" within each state. Listings include ESL/ELL and Lexile'''® levels so every student can read successfully.

tag(s): book lists (126), states (163)

In the Classroom

Go beyond state "reports" to state experiences by encouraging students to select independent reading books. Looking for more information about the states? For history, economics, facts, famous people, and sights to see in each state, try TeachersFirst's 50 States, the perfect complement to these independent reading selections. Even younger students would enjoy a "tour" of the states using some of the easier books on this list. Maybe have a read-aloud tour featuring one or two states per week throughout the school year.

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Seymour Simon: Award Winning Children's Author - Seymour Simon

Grades
2 to 8
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this...more
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this site with those who learn from text, images, or hands-on. Free enrollment in the site allows access to many features such as teacher guides and resources, project ideas, and discussion boards. Other areas of the site for adults include videos, an interactive science dictionary, and searches for any science topic. Be sure to check out the Science News area under the kids portion of the site. Labels range from Alana G (their 10-year-old environmental blogger) all the way to Writing Wednesday. Also check out the informational bio of Seymour Simon and the FAQ which answers questions on many of his book topics. If interested, you can also request a school visit or Skype session with the author!

tag(s): animals (276), brain (72), butterflies (13), earth (228), earthquakes (48), environment (317), human body (120), hurricanes (35), insects (69), light (46), oceans (148), planets (123), plants (144), solar system (119), spiders (10), stars (61), sun (71), tornadoes (16), volcanoes (61), weather (188), whales (16)

In the Classroom

Enroll on the site using your email address. Access and use teacher guides along with Seymour Simon books during Guided or Independent Reading. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to learn more about the author and watch ebooks. Share Seymour Simon's bio with students when using his books as part of a non-fiction unit -- perfect for Common Core informational texts! Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain or review any of Seymour Simon's books or articles from the Science blog. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here) to create the avatars. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore items such as the Science Dictionary or read and discuss items from the Science News.
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Playfic - Andy Baio and Cooper McHatton

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the...more
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the tutorial on the home page that also teaches you how to navigate the stories themselves. By clicking on the "Learn More" when you're signed out, or the "About Us" when you're signed in, you can view the "cheat sheet" that will certainly make your first creative attempt at Playfic more enjoyable. Experiment with Playfic games created by others and time yourself. if you get stuck, you can look at the source code. Create your own Playfic for any topic that interests you, whether it's fiction or not. Note that there is no moderation on games created by others, so preview before sharing with young people.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), digital storytelling (142), gamification (65), mysteries (25), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

"Gamification" of learning is a hot topic in 21st century learning. Use this simple tool to make it happen. Use for any digital storytelling: fact or fiction. In social studies, have students create an interactive game based on life during the Depression or any historic era. Have them create a "Where in the world is ..." for geography. World language students could make a simple game (in the language they are studying) about daily life. Gifted students will love creating games on their favorite topics, so make this a research-and-create-a-game approach for independent projects. Science students could make a game about what might happen in certain weather or life as a fossil. Have your language arts students create mystery or survival stories or even a different ending to a story you've read together. Warning: all stories are PUBLIC and your students will be able to view other's stories. You'll either want to have a class account or monitor this closely.

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