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Tesla - Master of Lightning - PBS

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Flash to PBS to get a bolt of learning about Nikola Tesla. Discover a compressive view of Tesla from his early years and his coming to America. Follow his ...more
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Flash to PBS to get a bolt of learning about Nikola Tesla. Discover a compressive view of Tesla from his early years and his coming to America. Follow his accomplishments while harnessing the Niagara. Discover the true mystery about who invented the radio. Trace his inventions and accomplishments. Inside the lab, discover the AC motor, the Tesla coil, radio, remote controls, and improved lightning. Resources include a timeline of electricity and radio, Tesla's patents, and articles about Tesla. Explore discussions from experts about Tesla's life and accomplishments. There are lesson plans for teachers. Some materials are for sale.

tag(s): electricity (88), energy (204), industrial revolution (26), inventors and inventions (94), motion (61), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Add intrigue and mystery, to your science unit on electricity, motion, or inventors as you study the life and accomplishments of Nikola Tesla. Excellent lesson plans include a concrete understanding of potential energy, mechanical energy to electrical energy. Use on an interactive white board to begin your unit or create a "Who Dunnit" with electricity or radio. Follow the structure of ideas presented to create an online "famous scientist" wiki, blog or PowerPoint to add to your class website. Use a Socratic seminar to debate which scientist should get credit for the induction motor, radio, and even the Industrial Revolution. Use the readings for older students, advanced readers, or gifted students, as they are far above the reading level of elementary and early middle school students. In language arts, writing topics could include "What a shock electricity is in my life" and "Will the true inventor of electricity please stand up?" The ideas and resources are electrifying!
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Word Dynamo - Dictionary.com, LLC

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
 
How many words do you know? Play the Dynamo challenge and learn new vocabulary with this free site. Choose from various grade levels, subject areas, and even for test ...more
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How many words do you know? Play the Dynamo challenge and learn new vocabulary with this free site. Choose from various grade levels, subject areas, and even for test prep (high school and college/graduate level). Find help with Latin and Spanish, too. Create lists and look at lists created by others. Create your own personalized home page to keep track of your progress. Play games and study using flashcards.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128)

In the Classroom

Use Word Dynamo to explore or study new words. Create lists of words to learn. Have students keep track of their progress by creating their own page. You may want to post the address for this program on your website or wiki, and bookmark it on the classroom computers. There is no need to sign up to simply play games.

Comments

Be careful! The Greek and Latin root games on this site are fakes and do not offer the benefits that real root-learning does. Also, even the definitions of elementary level words contain many much harder words, meaning that students may get an inaccurately low reading. Ellisha, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Hidden Hereos - Steve Henn, Hans J. Meyer

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
See a display and history of products that we rarely think about but all use daily. Scroll over the colored bars to see what some of these simple, but ...more
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See a display and history of products that we rarely think about but all use daily. Scroll over the colored bars to see what some of these simple, but highly functional and successful inventions are. Learn about zippers, paper clips, plastic bottle carriers, cable ties, coffee filters, and post-its. There are plenty more to investigate. After selecting your language, choose the colored bars you wish to learn about, and click on "begin the exhibition." Register for newsletters that will include details of the new "heroes." The site suggests you can contact them to suggest everyday items you want to know more about. When you first arrive on the page, there is a tab on the left. If you click on "Museum," you can read about how an object can become a "Hidden Hero."

tag(s): design (94), engineering (129), inventors and inventions (94)

In the Classroom

Hidden Hereos is an excellent site to use for nonfiction reading assignments or to inspire future scientists and industrial designers/engineers. Include it in reading practice or in a unit on inventions and design. The reading level of the page is about tenth grade, so it would be a suitable site to share with your advanced readers, high school students, and gifted students. Share this site with your students, and allow them to explore as many inventions as they want. You may want to assign small groups to read about certain inventions each day and then share with the rest of their group until your class has gone through all. Then have them think of an everyday item not listed here and research that item. You might want to consider contacting the developers of this site; ask them to research and display their findings on the object your students suggested.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pagefin - Pagefin 2010

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Pagefin as a quick and easy way to create web pages. Spend only seconds to add text, images, or links to create your own web pages. After creating, share ...more
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Use Pagefin as a quick and easy way to create web pages. Spend only seconds to add text, images, or links to create your own web pages. After creating, share via a URL link where you can edit the page later, a direct link for email and instant messaging, a shortened URL which is convenient for sharing on Twitter, or HTML embed code for your other websites. No need to login, just start immediately.

tag(s): multimedia (63), portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

Use Pagefin at school for individual or group projects. Create webpages to use for anticipatory guides, polls, or even study guides. Allow students to build a content review page to demonstrate mastery. The ease of use allows even novice technology users, as well as younger students, to create their own webpage (parent permission strongly advised!). You or your students can create beautiful presentations with images, text, and links. Each website created has a private URL. Students can use this tool at home for presentations and email you the URL for their completed work. Compile the presentation URLs on your class blog or wiki so all students have access. Integrate all subjects into Pagefin. The simplicity of this site would make it an easy tool for younger students to create eportfolios with links to and explanations of their various projects located elsewhere on the web.

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GeoCube - GeoCube

Grades
3 to 12
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GeoCube is a delightful, online, interactive resource about world geography. Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube, GeoCube has six sides, each with a topic and nine sub-topics....more
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GeoCube is a delightful, online, interactive resource about world geography. Based on the principle of the Rubik Cube, GeoCube has six sides, each with a topic and nine sub-topics. Click on each sub-topic to find a gallery of videos and images with accompanying text explaining different concepts in geography. The topics explored are living together, earth from all angles, shrinking planet, exploring our world, fascinating earth, and useful geographies. Be sure to watch the How to Use intro video (uses Quick Time) to see how your mouse navigates GeoCube. Clicking on downloads will allow you to view and print PDFs of each topic as well as a colorful GeoCube template with photos to fold and assemble. GeoCube is viewable in several languages: English, Spanish, German, and Italian.

tag(s): earth (233), earthquakes (50), ecology (138), energy (204), environment (322), extinction (4), forests (27), hurricanes (40), landforms (48), maps (291), mountains (16), natural disasters (19), natural resources (59), ozone (10), pollution (65), religions (67), transportation (41), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (66), water (130), wetlands (11)

In the Classroom

Explore one of the subtopics on GeoCube with your class on the interactive whiteboard. Discover different aspects of the world through the subtopics. Use the text as a basis to find another text, either narrative or expository, and compare and contrast the knowledge. You might want to allow students to investigate the different topics on their own at a learning station. Language arts, social studies, and science teachers can use the information found on GeoCube to build background knowledge for students before studying a unit. Introduce a unit on the environment by reading and viewing the videos for waste and pollution, water resources, energy resources, deforestation, species extinction, and climate change. Physical science teachers can use GeoCube as a unique way to introduce volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and conflicts in the earth's systems. These are just a few of the 54 subtopics your will find on GeoCube. ESL/ELL and learning support will all enjoy and benefit from viewing and reading GeoCube.

Use the GeoCube idea for students to present information they research on any science or social studies topic. Adapt it slightly, having students create foldable visual aids using FoldPlay, reviewed here, or interactive video cubes using YouCube, reviewed here. YouCube needs to access YouTube, so may not be accessible at school.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rhymes.net - STANDS4 LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rhymes.net is a simple site that offers words that rhyme with whatever you enter in the search field. Indicated in the rhyming word are syllables for ease of use, and ...more
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Rhymes.net is a simple site that offers words that rhyme with whatever you enter in the search field. Indicated in the rhyming word are syllables for ease of use, and there is a set of photos for words searched. Choose from the dropdown box to translate the word into several languages from Arab through Turkish. Listen to the word by clicking on the speaker icon next to your word. The right sidebar lists popular nursery rhymes. Click to show the text of the rhyme.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nursery rhymes (18), poetry (220), preK (293), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to share during your poetry unit as a resource for rhyming words. Create a list of student-generated rhyming words before using this site to discover words missed. Challenge students to use lesser-known words found through the site. Share with your school's music teacher to use when writing songs with students. Have students create rhyming word clouds using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Hang printed word clouds on the classroom walls during poetry units so students see many choices or share them on a class wiki.

Use the text of nursery rhymes to create class interactive books using Bookemon reviewed here, or make student-illustrated "big books" using PowerPoint to create and print. (Copyright is NOT an issue for this public domain text.)

In world language classes, share a translated nursery rhyme each day as a challenge for students to decipher and guess the "real" nursery classic

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Think - Cathy Sheafor

Grades
K to 8
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, ...more
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, or create a one man band, then this site is for you. Find links to other creative thinking blogs, too. Promote 21st century design thinking and innovation with activities that look like pure "fun." The sidebar include links to many engineering sites and activities to connect creativity as an important aspect of design and science. Don't miss the sidebar tips to parents and teachers, as well.

tag(s): creativity (121), critical thinking (119)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create a "think outside of the box" space in your classroom. Keep the area stocked with materials and activity sheets. Use the area as a place for students to go when they finish up work. Better yet, make design thinking part of your science curriculum by tying in some of these challenges with curriculum topics such as gravity, forces, materials, and more. Set one Friday a month aside as "think outside of the box" day, and use the activities from the site. Send home an activity as extra credit homework and create a museum of student's creations. Make this link available on your class web page for parents to access during school breaks or snow days.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lalo.li - Franz Enzenhofer

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle ...more
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Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle and turn to change the quality. Copy and paste the URL to share your audio message or use links to share via social networking such as Facebook and Twitter. Here is a sample . At the time of this review, the site only worked using Firefox or Chrome.

tag(s): text to speech (18)

In the Classroom

This would be great for ESL/ELL learners; have them type a short sentence and listen to the playback to verify that the sentence is correct. It would also be a great practice for beginning readers. Use your interactive whiteboard and have the class tell a very brief story or say a sentence. After typing the sentence into the program, user a pointer for each word as the synthesizer reads it, or have students take turns pointing out the words. Share tonight's homework on your class web page as a link to an audio reminder simply by typing or pasting in the assignment and copying the link to place it on your web page.

Comments

When I tried to use it with Safari on a new Mac in 10.7, it said I needed to use only Firefox or Chrome Too bad.

Note from the editorial staff: thank you for your comment. We have added this information to the review.
Constance, RI, Grades: 0 - 12

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Interactive.I - interactive.illimitably.com

Grades
K to 12
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a ...more
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a font style for chat, name your room, and designate if participants can chat, draw, or both. Once in the room, share the url with all participants. Chat appears below the drawing and not in the drawing itself and does not show when you share or save the final product. Options are available for activities such as a drawing challenge and newspaper. Be aware that the newspaper may offer options such as gay marriage or other topics you may not want to address with your students. Save drawings to your computer or online. Avoid the public gallery where drawings may not be classroom appropriate.

tag(s): drawing (82)

In the Classroom

You can avoid the public galleries entirely by creating the space for your students to use. It takes only seconds, and they can join directly by url. Have students collaborate on the creation of story webs or classroom presentations. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Allow students to use this site as their visual during speeches. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. If you know an artist, cartoonist or illustrator, invite him/her to visit your classroom virtually to share his/her drawing process while you class uses the chat to ask questions.

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Easel.ly

Grades
5 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts),...more
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts), or start from a blank canvas. Drag and drop other needed elements or upload graphics to create your own. Enter your text and data to create your own Infographic, displaying and sharing information. Find all the needed elements and prompts along the top navigation bar. This site takes the challenge of using design principles out of the creation of an Infographic. Click Save and you will be prompted to join if you have not already. Once logged in and saved, the prompts will tell you to return to your home page (leaving the "creator" area) to choose settings for your finished infographic. You can choose public or private, share by link, download, or delete.

tag(s): data (150), infographics (47), posters (39)

In the Classroom

Use a whole class account if you are working with students under 13 or if school policies prohibit student accounts. Experiment with Easel.ly on a projector or interactive whiteboard (let the students do it!) using different design "themes," making changes without having to configure the whole Infographic. After creating Infographics as a class, review the other types to show basic design principles. Students can create Infographics of a classroom topic, relationships and definitions of major terms, information from labs, and more. Find data and information that connects your content to the outside world, such as the statistics and causes for endangered species. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand any curriculum content and connect it with the real world. For example, show the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have students explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Learn about food groups (now displayed as myplate) by dissecting a food, diary, or a typical school lunch in terms of meeting daily requirements (and other nutrition topics).

If your use literature circles in your classroom, making an Infographic about a novel the group read would be a great conclusion for the lit circle project, and it might entice others in the class to read the novel. Post the infographics on your web page for all your students and their parents to enjoy.

To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the tough issues or "flipsides" related to your curriculum topic: Major court cases and issues involving freedom of speech (during your Constuitution unit), risks and benefits of nuclear power (in a physics class), how an author's experience influences what he/she writes, lead-ups to a current events crisis, etc.

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Procon - Procon.org

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 2  Comments
  
Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education,...more
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Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education, Media & Entertainment, Sports, Science & Technology, among others. Issues can include Abortion, Euthanasia, Climate Change, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Health Care Reform, Obesity, and the Death Penalty, just to name a few. Read the information on each issue in a Pro and Con format along with background information, and included video clips. Some topics are controversial, so adults using this site with young people may want to go directly to a single issue rather than having them browse openly.

tag(s): climate change (68), critical thinking (119), debate (44), persuasive writing (55), politics (97)

In the Classroom

Using controversial topics that have more than one side is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving. Find issues on this site that relate to your curriculum and use them as an entry point for a new unit. Use the teaching resources found under the Teacher's Corner. Use this site to teach how to distinguish facts from opinions, using information to write essays or create speeches, or hold a class debate. Help students develop flexibility in their thinking by having them argue a side they do NOT agree with. Focus on critical thinking with your students to develop skills needed for life. Use as a whole class activity or for individual students to find an issue of interest to them. Gifted students often think deeply on such issues at an early age and will find these topics of great interest. Use this site to guide a deliberate discussion or debate.

Comments

I also love this site, but I don't see any advertising on there at all. The site is free. Not sure how they stay afloat but I'm glad they do. For me, it is better than Opposing Viewpoints database for its depth, ease of use, and lack of registration/passwords. I use it for student debates on current events, and my wife (an English teacher) uses it for persuasive essays and role play debates. , , Grades: 0 - 12
I've used this and it's great! Balanced, has good resources. Helps students see both sides of an issue. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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iSL Collective - Adam and Peter Laszlo

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Bookmark this site for fast help with curricular needs with ESL/ELL students. From maps, to grammar, to writing activities, to reading and vocabulary assists, this site offers whatever...more
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Bookmark this site for fast help with curricular needs with ESL/ELL students. From maps, to grammar, to writing activities, to reading and vocabulary assists, this site offers whatever you might need. These ESL/ELL teachers have created it all! It offers materials at seven English competency levels for five distinctive types of language learners. You can also share your best materials here.

tag(s): alphabet (87), grammar (208), paragraph writing (16), pronunciation (44), vocabulary development (128), worksheets (62)

In the Classroom

Check back often to see new materials available here, listed under "Newest" or "ESL Worksheets of the Day."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cue Flash - cueflash.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to ...more
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This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to use. Use the tag cloud or subject list to find existing flashcard sets.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45), word study (78)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and one more time as a final review. This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words used in science terms or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Clicking on Discussion Group in the upper right corner to start a discussion thread about a flashcard to extend learning. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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Less is More: Making Your Presentations Zen-tastic! - Kim Cofino

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources...more
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This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources and suggestions. It is definitely worth a look before preparing classroom or professional presentations using PowerPoint, Prezi (reviewed here) or another presentation tool.

tag(s): media literacy (63)

In the Classroom

Share this article with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector before they begin preparing projects for presentation. Use information from the site for your own information when preparing presentations for the classroom or professionally.

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The Successful Web Reader - Neal Bastek-Content Developer-Colorado State

Grades
7 to 12
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we ...more
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we read on the Web for a variety of reasons. Whether it is to surf and browse for information, or to interact with people and texts around the world, the criteria for success is dependent upon skills and strategies that experienced online readers use as an approach to reading digital/electronic text. Find out how to take advantage of the functionality of your browser and make the most out of your visits to the Web with the helpful suggestions you will find on this site.

tag(s): reading comprehension (121), reading strategies (49)

In the Classroom

Reading is a cross curricular activity. Every teacher, not only English, language arts, and reading teachers, should teach or review these strategies with students before asking them to find information and read on the Web. The Successful Web Reader provides teacher and student-friendly, practical tips and information to aid "critical linking" and path following, effective scanning, avoiding distractions, and how to get the most out of a quick visit. Bookmark this website in your favorites. Choose from the many links of helpful information to project on your whiteboard at opportune times.

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Book Report Makeover - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
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Here you will find a plethora of ideas for students to report about the books they've read. Watch your students' appetite for reading soar with this collection of creative book ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ideas for students to report about the books they've read. Watch your students' appetite for reading soar with this collection of creative book report ideas, complete with instructions. From edible book reports to video projects, there is something to spark everyone's interest and keep them engaged.
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tag(s): book reports (39), critical thinking (119), writing (366)

In the Classroom

The variety of ideas will keep readers thinking in new ways about what they read. How about having them create a quiz to go along with their class novel to demonstrate what they have learned? TeachersFirst can make that easy for you with Easy Test Maker reviewed here. Perhaps your students fancy transforming parts of their book into online comic strips. TeachersFirst has that covered for you too with Make Beliefs Comics reviewed here.

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Newtools Powered by Aardvark - John Davitt

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the ...more
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Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the Magna Carta meant in a series of 5 photographs," or "do metamorphosis as a blues song." There are 2,500 of these ideas, and you will have to scroll through them until you find the one you like. All the learning events use the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, synthesis (now called "creating"). This page is just the beginning! You will also find idea generators for geography and homework! Build creative flexibility and orginality with these prompts.

tag(s): creative writing (167), creativity (121), flexibility (5), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Set up Newtools on a classroom computer. Make this one of several writing prompt options for blogs or other open-ended assignments. Allow students who finish work early or who need a journal idea to scroll through and try to find an idea that you have studied in class. Write several of these on your interactive whiteboard and then have students choose which one they would like to work on. Once all the projects are complete, rotate the students around the room to share with classmates who worked on a different project. Use this site to challenge gifted students to produce a higher level project. Some of the projects suggest using video or another presentation format. Be sure to check TeachersFirst Edge Presentation tools here to find one that is just right.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spreaker - Spreaker Online Radio

Grades
1 to 12
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google ...more
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google +, Soundcloud, Twitter, or add to the Spreaker website. Follow others, or invite others to follow your podcasts. With a click of a button you are creating a live podcast. To create a podcast you do not need Flash. However, there are several tutorials, and these tutorials require flash. There is a free version and a more deluxe premium version. This review is for the free version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (58), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Enjoy a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a New Book or Book Review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website. Publish directions to projects, explanations for difficult concepts, or even a radio show of you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or to aid with running records or even include writing. Be sure do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories! Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your foreign language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL, special education classes can often benefit from the extra explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless! The site itself is a "web 2.0," social networking style site, so some schools may have it blocked. Ask about unblocking just YOUR teacher account so you can have students access it while at school and under your supervision.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (262), newspapers (96), reading comprehension (121), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DIY - DIY Co

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover a free online portfolio or collection place specifically created for children to showcase things they make: projects, work, videos, and pictures. Upload videos or pictures...more
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Discover a free online portfolio or collection place specifically created for children to showcase things they make: projects, work, videos, and pictures. Upload videos or pictures of the projects from your computer or iOS app to the website. With an animal avatar identity and different name, children are not identifiable to outsiders. When a project is shown online, viewers can add stickers to show support. An Android app is "planned." Parents or teachers have a dashboard for reviewing all activity on the account. Students under 13 must provide a parent email for their parents to verify tha they give permission for the membership.

tag(s): portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

Leap into the age of technology by making your student portfolios digital. Use DIY for student portfolios of class projects, explorations at home, and family fun. To get started, make a whole-class account to share class accomplishments. Then move to having each student create his/her own. The digital portfolio includes an extra bonus: parent involvement. Using parent emails, the work shared brings a close home-school connection going beyond just parents to extended family and friends. Have basic standards and requirements for posting to encourage quality control. Excite and motivate students using this easy portfolio. Use for an after school club, such as book club, photography club, Lego club, Odyssey of the Mind, chorus, or news team to keep a digital record of events, ideas, or projects. During science fair or any long-term project, record step by step progress. Use as a presentation tool, data notebook, or reflection tool. Teachers of gifted (or teachers who have gifted students in their class) can encourage these students to start collecting a portfolio of their best work, especially projects that go beyond the regular schools curriculum or school year. If a student has a special interest in poetry, rocketry, or forestry, encourage him/her to start documenting accomplishments with explanations, pictures, and links.

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