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Something Fishy - Inland Fisheries Ireland

Grades
4 to 6
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Something Fishy educates about water quality, fish, and the environment. Choose from the children's portion of the site or the section for teachers and parents. Children participate...more
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Something Fishy educates about water quality, fish, and the environment. Choose from the children's portion of the site or the section for teachers and parents. Children participate in a series of eight lessons beginning with "Water, Water, Everywhere" through "Will There Be Any Left For Me?" Lessons include short stories and slideshows. Teachers and Parents can download a teaching manual and work cards along with an overview and lesson plan for each activity.

tag(s): environment (318), fish (27), oceans (150), pollution (67), rivers (22), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

The children's activities are excellent for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. View and discuss the lessons together as part of your environmental unit or lessons on the water cycle. Have students view lessons on classroom computers on their own then summarize learning using a talking avatar with a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain water quality topics found on the site. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HD Downloader - hddownloader.com

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a ...more
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Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a video or an MP3 music file (selecting the quality), convert to a RingTone, or scan the MP3 to a Mobile Phone. When selecting to download a video there are several choices of formats: 3GP medium and high quality, FLV low and medium quality, and MP4 high quality. The MP4 high quality seemed to download the fastest, and the resulting download is viewable in full screen mode. All the selections work on both PC and MAC computers. At the time of this review, HD Downloader seems to download best using Internet Explorer (I.E.) on a Windows computer, and Safari on a MAC computer. When using I.E. on the Windows computer, a box might appear that says: "the digital signature cannot be verified" and will ask if you want to run the application anyway. Click on RUN. Once you've downloaded the video, you can copy it to a USB stick, and it will also play on a MAC computer. Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this may not be a site that you want students to explore independently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (276)

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access, and as a "work-around" when YouTube is blocked at your school. Use this tool at home to save YouTube videos on a stick and take them to school. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally under Fair Use.

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Mail Chimp - Ben Chestnut

Grades
K to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
MailChimp lets you create email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. MailChimp handles all of this with lists....more
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MailChimp lets you create email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. MailChimp handles all of this with lists. You can subscribe, edit, and remove yourself from lists as you please. Send your newsletter immediately or schedule delivery for the future. Test the email using the popup window to send to your own email address. Create your own template or choose from one of the many pre-designed templates available on the site. Content is rendered for easy use on mobile devices for viewing and through the app for creating and sending content. The site offers a long list of free features for use if you have under 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails a month - at no charge! Free features include templates, auto translate into other languages, group creation, Facebook and social media integration, and much more. Import recipient information from your online address book or an Excel spreadsheet. Choose to send your emails to your entire list, or a specific segment of your list. Your newsletters can include images and text, and can be personalized by merging "subscriber" information into the body of your message.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (35), DAT device agnostic tool (170), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for schools and classrooms to manage newsletters. Your class can generate a monthly newsletter or create newspapers from a period in time and share them with parents, school principals, and the school community. Share this site with the person responsible for creating and sharing content at your school. Send a nice end of the year message of thanks to parents with links for summer activities and even a year-end online slideshow. Send an informative beginning of the year newsletter with classroom information and introducing yourself to parents. Send out departmental information to parents through the group feature of MailChimp specifically to those involved. Use the merge feature to make emails personal. How much nicer would it be for parents to see news addressed to Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones, as opposed to Dear Parent(s)? School counselors can share information about college and career fairs, important deadlines, and more using Mail Chimp.

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Checkthis - Checkthis

Grades
K to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more....more
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Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more. An optional account lets you save your poster creations, customize URLs for the products, and return to edit later. If you wish to simply share a non-editable version, click Share and choose "no edit." Choose to share by email to see and copy the URL. Here is a sample. Every poster you create has its own URL, customizable if you create an account. You can also share via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Develop your own "poster" in a few clicks. Check This offers a wide variety of uses for no cost. Be aware: There could be questionable posters and/or comments on the homepage or by clicking "explore." Please preview before sharing this site with students.

tag(s): blogs (90), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Checkthis can be used for school, personal, or family use. No class blog? Use Checkthis to create a free instant blog without memberships. Use for students to create their own personal posters. In lower grades, create posters together featuring class rules, sight words, and more. Share the finished products ad links from your class web page for parents and students to access together from home to reinforce concepts. Projects, written work, posters, blog posts, etc... become "published" with the unique URL given when you simply push the Publish button. Keep student portfolios under a whole class account so you can easily review and update from any computer (even from home). Students can read your comments and reflect. Create a class poster/page about famous inventors, habitats, natural resources, authors, scientists, parts of speech, science experiments, role-plays, character sketches, or math riddles. Have students illustrate idioms or vocabulary and terms using posters (in English or a world language). Have students (or groups) make health, nutrition, of fitness posters. Add each student's URL on your class website to share all student work without space limitations. Enhance writing portfolios with sound, video, and website links. Keep guided notes in your own space so you won't lose them. Share your lesson plans, ideas, and suggestions in an easy to find place, your own account! Create pages for after school clubs to keep current information. Add a parent blog to encourage communication between your class families. Your room parent will appreciate his/her own web page. Have each student create study pages for any content area. The sky is the limit for what each page includes. Your gifted students will love being able to publish a quick blog or poster and receive comments from gifted students in other classes or schools. Set up a blog hop using Checkthis in collaboration with other teachers you find via #gtchat in Twitter.

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YouTube Time Machine - Justin Johnson and Delbert Shoopman III

Grades
3 to 12
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Travel back in time via this video site. Slide the bar to any year from 1860 to the present. Choose a year and view a random video from that time. ...more
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Travel back in time via this video site. Slide the bar to any year from 1860 to the present. Choose a year and view a random video from that time. (Yes, we know there isn't video from 1860, but this features a YouTube video of the first sound ever recorded in 1860.) The information bar to the right of the video screen tells how many videos are available for that year and includes filters to include or exclude topics such as commercials, sports, movies, and music. Click the icon to move to a different video from the same year. Use the search bar at the top of each page to search for any topic to find videos available on the site. The one down side to the site is that videos are displayed randomly when choosing a year. It would be nice to have a complete list of all video titles available. Although the site uses Flash, there is a downloadable app available for viewing on mobile devices. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1800s (48), 1900s (37), 20th century (53), decades (14), timelines (64), video (276)

In the Classroom

History teachers will love using this site to give a perspective of time periods taught in class. Apply filters to limit the videos included. For example, turn off everything except current events if you are looking for news from a specific year. Share this site with students and have them explore videos available for a given time period. Use media to build a broader sense of what the time period was like. Ask student groups to watch enough that they can hypothesize a general description of what was important to people at the time, based on advertisements, news, and more. Have them keep a list of the things they observe and questions they would like to ask if they could talk to someone from that time period. Challenge students to create a newspaper article from their "era" using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. Share this site with students and challenge them to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of historic events or people.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Common Curriculum Planner - CommonCurriculum.com

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
  
CommonCurriculum is an online lesson planning resource that helps align lessons to Common Core resources. Copy and paste a current lesson plan into their weekly template. Search a standard...more
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CommonCurriculum is an online lesson planning resource that helps align lessons to Common Core resources. Copy and paste a current lesson plan into their weekly template. Search a standard to find standards that may align with the lesson. The more text provided, the more options for standards will be offered. Drag and drop items from one day to another. Print using the print option for paper lesson plans. Publish lesson plans to your blog or website with one click using links in the site. Send public sections in a daily email to addresses you enter.

tag(s): professional development (156)

In the Classroom

Use CommonCurriculum for all of your lesson planning. Copy and paste current lesson plans into the site to view standards that match your lessons. Share public areas such as homework with parents through the email option provided in the site. Use this site to align your lessons to the Common Core standards.

Comments

Excellent planning tool. It helps organize my plans and share them with students. I can link to my files in Dropbox and then share those links with students -- no more uploading! Also, I can do long range planning easily. When I reorder my units, my lessons are automatically shifted around on the calendar. It's magic. Scott, , Grades: 1 - 2

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Wili the Wizard Math Dictionary - Center on Disability Studies

Grades
2 to 12
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The Math Dictionary is a glossary of important terms that elementary and middle school students need to know for success in their mathematics and science classes. The dictionary includes...more
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The Math Dictionary is a glossary of important terms that elementary and middle school students need to know for success in their mathematics and science classes. The dictionary includes diagrams when appropriate. Click on any letter to see a list of terms. Choose the term to find the definition. Read the short definition along with the Hawaiian translation. Some items include examples or diagrams along with links to further information.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use when looking up math terms. Have some fun with the Hawaiian translations provided. Give students the Hawaiian word and see if they can find the word and definition it goes with! Share this site through your classroom newsletter, website, or blog for students to use at home. 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 a term defined on the site. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Post these avatars on your classroom website to have your own talking math dictionary!

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Scrumy - Robert Brend, Mike O'Malley, Dan Kordi

Grades
4 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Scrumy is an easy to use project management or planning tool. Create a project by adding the name you want to the Scrumy URL. Or have Scrumy name your project ...more
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Scrumy is an easy to use project management or planning tool. Create a project by adding the name you want to the Scrumy URL. Or have Scrumy name your project for you by clicking on the "New Free Project" button. Once your page opens, a prompt guides you to click on "Create a Story." A story is really a grouping of tasks. It's a category or goal that you can split into multiple tasks. Prompts guide you through setting up the rest of your tasks. You can assign tasks to different people. The color coding allows you to quickly see who is doing what. There are To Do, In Progress, Verify, and Done columns to work with. Once you've learned the steps, you can hide the tutorial. If you need assistance, there is lots of help on their About page. If you don't see what you need there, their email support is almost instantaneous!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Are you responsible for multiple tasks at school over and above teaching? This program will help you stay organized. Teach project planning and sequencing tasks. Have students use this for planning "how-to" demonstration speeches, or students with IEPs can work toward goals with intermediate steps listed on Scrumy. Your gifted-but-disorganized students would benefit from trying this tool. You might even want to model and use it with an entire class during major projects to teach time management. When your students are working in small groups on research projects, presentations, and even literature circles, this would be a great program for them to stay organized. All you have to do is share the URL for others to see, move, create, and change tasks.

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CPalms - Standards Based Resource Information - Florida Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Search and find standards based resources in every subject and grade levels. Many are aligned to Florida standards, some also to Common Core. Recently added resources appear on the...more
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Search and find standards based resources in every subject and grade levels. Many are aligned to Florida standards, some also to Common Core. Recently added resources appear on the home page. In addition, there are several search options available. Browse by subject area then narrow choices using drop boxes for grade level, and instructional components. Also choose from a keyword search to find specific topics and phrases. Choose all resources to view the list of over 1800 resources available. Short explanations include basic information; click on the link to view a full description.

tag(s): florida (11), professional development (156)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the school year when searching for resources for any topic. Share with other staff members as a teaching resource.

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One Ocean - CBC Radio Canada

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
View this amazing set of resources to explore the world's oceans in a 3D virtual environment. Watch full episodes, view descriptions, or explore the many links. Swim with killer whales...more
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View this amazing set of resources to explore the world's oceans in a 3D virtual environment. Watch full episodes, view descriptions, or explore the many links. Swim with killer whales or float along and watch sea turtles and other organisms that swim by. Complete missions such as exploring some of the deepest places in the oceans. Use the "Time Machine" to view the history of the ocean and its inhabitants.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (126), marine biology (33), oceans (150)

In the Classroom

Share full episodes or explore the other links on the site. Provide time for students to explore the different items in this site. Students can work as groups to identify information to share with the rest of the class. Create a webquest about Ocean Life using this resource. Use this site on a whiteboard or projector to discuss Ocean Life with the class. Place this link on a classroom computer or list on your blog or class website for easy access. The underseas experiences would also be a great way for students to learn how to "observe" as scientists and record their observations, even in lower elementary grades.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quietube - STML

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Remove all the clutter and "stuff" from YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler videos. Check out the "Quick Tutorial" link to learn more! Drag the button on this page to your bookmark ...more
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Remove all the clutter and "stuff" from YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler videos. Check out the "Quick Tutorial" link to learn more! Drag the button on this page to your bookmark bar. When you choose a video, click the bookmark button. A new page opens that shows the video without all the comments and advertisements. Send the URL of this page to friend, families, or for access for your students.

tag(s): classroom management (150), video (276)

In the Classroom

Share "distraction-free" videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share the URL for the clearer video on your class website or in assignments. Removing the comments and advertisements can make for a much better viewing experience. This is especially true of your ADD, autistic, unfocused gifted, or other special needs students. Less distraction = better learning experience for all.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stripgenerator - Stripgenerator

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share ...more
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Create simple and easy cartoon strips. Add frames, characters, balloons for speech text, and other items. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to create a comic strip. Share by url or embedding into your wiki, blog, or site. You can create a comic strip as a guest but must register to be able to save. If you plan to share this site with students, you must preview. There are unmoderated "latest" comics on the home page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), emotions (35)

In the Classroom

Because of the public content, be SURE to tell students to go directly to the creation tools (and not to explore the public strips). If you cannot monitor/trust individuals, use a whole class account and have one group at a time work where you can monitor. Instead of writing boring summaries, why not assign a rotating scribe to summarize class through a comic strip. Make a class wiki collection of the comics created throughout the year. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.

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AirPano - AirPano.com

Grades
3 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Airpano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360 degree images of famous locations around the world. They are incorporated with Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle...more
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Airpano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360 degree images of famous locations around the world. They are incorporated with Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong harbour or the tranquil scenery of Fiordland in New Zealand. At the time of this review, there were well over 100 AMAZING images to view. Rotate any 3D image and zoom in to see the details in finer clarity. Click on links within images to view nearby sites of interests. Read articles included with panoramas for an overview of locations. Embed a rotating image on to your site using the link found at the top left corner of each panoramic image. Zoom in and out of images, read articles about each location, turn sound on and off using links included with images. Based on the device used for viewing, choose from high or low resolution and iphone or ipad links to view panoramas. Panoramas open in a new tab/window.

tag(s): asia (70), australia (36), canada (31), china (68), england (58), europe (74), france (40), germany (28), images (274), india (37), italy (16), maps (293), new york (26), north america (19), pyramids (29), russia (38), south africa (11), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use when discussing well-known places around the world. View 3D panoramic images on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take your students to Moscow, Paris, Vietnam, the Grand Canyon, on a hot air balloon, or many other options. This tool could be useful in science, social studies, and current event classes. Share these panoramas with world language and world cultures classes as well as when literature settings include some of these famous sites. Have students give a class :tour", explaining as they navigate on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the embed function to embed panoramas on your website or blog for student use at home. Share this site with students to use for research projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mind Maple Mind Mapping Software - MindMaple Inc

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Download this EASY, FREE mind-mapping tool available in iOS or Windows ("lite") versions. No Mac version is available. Begin with the "central idea" box to start growing ideas. Create...more
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Download this EASY, FREE mind-mapping tool available in iOS or Windows ("lite") versions. No Mac version is available. Begin with the "central idea" box to start growing ideas. Create as many subtopics as you want by clicking and dragging from your central idea. Expand subtopics by adding more subtopics under them. Add symbols and pictures from the gallery or find your own pictures from your desktop. Attach notes and give hyperlinks, attach documents, edit, and save them on MindMaple. Change the colors, background, the layout and the style of your mind map to add your personal touch. There is a paid version that includes additional features; however, the free version contains all features above for easy use. The FREE version includes two map themes and a few backgrounds and clipart options. Files can be shared with others who have the free software/app or exported as Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint, image files, TXT and HTML.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): concept mapping (21), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Have student groups create presentations on MindMaple. The subtopics can serve as talking points when it is their turn to talk. Have students begin projects by making an outline with MindMaple and sharing it with the teacher. As a whole class, create a MindMaple at the beginning of the unit showing what the class knows. Add information to the MindMaple throughout the unit. Create lesson plans on MindMaple by outlining the lessons with the order of topics, links, and the documents that you will be using. Take notes about lessons/units using MindMaple. Pass the mind map to the class as a visual guide and summary of what you have taught including visuals, documents, and links. Share completed maps with learning support teachers and parents to help struggling students. Ask students to create a mind map of a book or a chapter. Outline characters, setting, and events taking place in stories. Use MindMaple to create a graphic organizer/timeline of important historical events.

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Three Ring - Michael Lindsay, Steve Silvius and Alec Turnbill

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS...more
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Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Add students' names quickly by typing them or adding them through a spreadsheet. Sort uploads by class, student, or custom tag to easily find the artifact you're looking for. Take a photo with your smartphone and tag it before you upload it. Take a picture while in class or grading work. Log in to the website to view all uploaded images. Upload images, videos, or voice recordings.

tag(s): assessment (107), DAT device agnostic tool (170), organizational skills (128), portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

Upload student work throughout the year and share with parents and/or students during conferences. Instead of creating an account for teacher use only, teach students to upload their own work. Be sure to assign specific tags by assignment, student, and/or standard. Use this to show finished projects or to demonstrate changes in a project from start to finish. Upload examples of finished work to share with students before beginning a project to set expectations for completed products. Create a link on your class website to share projects and information. Students can also take ownership of their own portfolios that show progress and products across several years.

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Teacher Invaders Game Generator - Andrew Field

Grades
1 to 8
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Create a Flash-based interactive game in a "flash." The free software is Windows only. Teacher Invaders, from the makers of the popular Fling the Teacher game, is based on the ...more
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Create a Flash-based interactive game in a "flash." The free software is Windows only. Teacher Invaders, from the makers of the popular Fling the Teacher game, is based on the very first video arcade game of the 1970s, called Space Invaders. The site is free and easy to use. Enter your question(s) and hit the "generate game" button. Teacher Invaders is ideal for terminology, vocabulary, definitions, and rote learning. You can adjust the number of questions you want to include along with other aspects of the game. You can download the software (which is still under development from Content Generator). Although free of charge, you must join the forum linked on the site to be able to download the software.

tag(s): vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (124)

In the Classroom

Create games for any subject for review before testing or practice throughout the year. Share your educational games on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign games for homework or use on classroom computers as centers. If possible, allow cooperative learning groups to create their own educational review games to share with the class. Learning support or ELL teachers could work together with small groups to create games, reinforcing learning both in making and playing the games.

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Massive Health - Massive Health

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover great infographics about the state of our health and diets. Click on each infographic to reveal data and interesting information. Footnotes below provide links to the sources...more
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Discover great infographics about the state of our health and diets. Click on each infographic to reveal data and interesting information. Footnotes below provide links to the sources of the information.

tag(s): food chains (22), nutrition (159)

In the Classroom

Use these infographics in biology or health classes to understand about nutrition and how your body uses various molecules. Begin the unit by having students find the most interesting information as a starting point for discussion. Create blog posts about poor and healthy eating. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Create a food diary to analyze how students and their families eat. Be sure to look at the diets of other cultures to understand how they meet their nutritional needs. Be sure to discuss diseases of overconsumption such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

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inklewriter - Joseph Humfrey and Jon Ingold

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL....more
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Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL. These stories allow for others to create their own path or choose an existing one. Begin by choosing to read stories or create your own. Type parts of the story including the title, author, beginning, introduction, and add sections as needed. After each paragraph is the option to create different outcomes of the story, offering choices the reader makes. The site contains excellent tutorials for getting started with stories. When finished, share the URL for your story using Twitter or Facebook or copy the URL to share and bookmark as you wish. Of course, your "story" need not be fiction! You could also write an opinion piece with branches for people to ask click on questions about facets of your argument! NOTE: When you click to begin writing, you should click SIGN IN and choose to make a new account. Do this before you start writing in order to be able to save. The tool will then save your work as you go along. Although you do not HAVE to sign in before you start, it is risky to sign up later! Here is a sample to show just ONE way to use Inklewriter besides the obvious use for storytelling. Inklewriter has also made it easier for teachers to sign up students WITHOUT student email addresses. Read the directions about how to do this on the landing page by scrolling down and finding "Sign-up and email addresses."
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tag(s): creative writing (171), digital storytelling (153), narrative (22), persuasive writing (56)

In the Classroom

View stories on the site together to understand the components of the site and discuss how different choices in characters and settings lead to different story outcomes. (Be sure to preview stories before sharing, since there is "public"' content.) Watch the tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Use a graphic organizer to "map out" the story before writing. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar using the site. Assign a group of students to create an interactive story each week to share on your classroom website or blog. Have students create a story map before beginning a story on inklewriter; use a tool such as 25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Create class stories to teach about literature, geography, reading comprehension, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Inklewriter to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. A graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must! Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. If you work with students who struggle, scaffold with a template for them to organize their thoughts.

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SpeakPipe - Speakpipe.com

Grades
K to 12
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SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog or website so readers can send you an audio message of up to five minutes in length. The message goes to ...more
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SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog or website so readers can send you an audio message of up to five minutes in length. The message goes to your Speakpipe inbox, and you receive an email notification. You also receive a url for the message that you could post on the blog so others can hear the comments. Visitors click the "leave voicemail" button to access. Next, the visitor records a message for you. Users have the option of including their names and email addresses.

tag(s): blogs (90), communication (7)

In the Classroom

When installed on a school website, SpeakPipe provides a good way for parents to leave voicemail messages. Unless one of you shares the url, the communication remains confidential. Download messages to your computer as a simple way for students to record their voice responses for use in a multimedia project on your classroom blog. After posting student work on your classroom website or blog, allow students to record information responding or explaining each project. Encourage emerging readers to record their own voices reading a blog post they write. Auditory learners will truly benefit from this tool. Install this on your class blog or wiki so parents who visit can leave audio comments for the class. World language teachers could post an image on a class web site and ask students to record a response in their new language. SChool library/media centers can invite students so comment about new books listed on the web page.

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SimpleMeet.Me - Irian Solutions

Grades
4 to 12
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SimpleMeet.Me is a free service to quickly create an online chat room and invite others. That code appearing when you open SimpleMeet.me is the code that you can give to ...more
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SimpleMeet.Me is a free service to quickly create an online chat room and invite others. That code appearing when you open SimpleMeet.me is the code that you can give to anyone you want to join your chat. They simply enter that code to join. Registration is not required to use SimpleMeet.me.
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tag(s): chat (53), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use this site to connect to other classes to open up conferencing between your students in one convenient place. Safety is not a concern with this site, since only those with your unique code can participate in a chat. Chat sessions are not saved. (You can copy/paste the content into a document before closing to save an offline copy.) Use this site for a means to connect to any classroom you choose for any subject area. Connect to learn about other locations, learn various perspectives, find animals that are similar yet different, learn about the different books others are reading, survey students on various economic, political, or environmental topics. Be sure to plan content ahead of time, so students have the opportunity to think through the material and formulate a response. Discuss appropriate ways to communicate to others prior to connecting with another classroom. Use SimpleMeet.me as a place for students to brainstorm and share ideas about a topic. Use as a simple help forum for students to ask questions of each other and of you. Share your unique code with parents once a month for a question and answer session at a scheduled time.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students using new language vocabulary in backchannel descriptions of what they see while classmates act out a scene from a video, or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or in history class for conversations between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Monkey trial.

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