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Make Word Mosaic - Image Chef

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create an word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol:...more
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Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create an word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol: star, smiley faces, initials, and more. You can print creations or share via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. There are links on this site to public galleries of remixes and symbols associated with another application.Save the image in one of three sizes using the export option. Be sure to preview before sharing from the homepage or Gallery.
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tag(s): bulletin boards (16), vocabulary (323), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word mosaics of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Make Dolch word/sight word mosaics for students to take home for practice. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings (such as different ways to say "walk"). Have students make mosaics for each part of speech to help them remember examples. Decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create word mosaics about themselves and create a bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). In elementary grades, create greeting cards for holidays and special occasions using spelling words and holiday words.

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Planboard - Lesson Planning Organizer - Vetica

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Plan and view your academic year using this online lesson plan organizer. Integrate standards by choosing from Common Core, Ontario Curriculums, or your own custom-created standards...more
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Plan and view your academic year using this online lesson plan organizer. Integrate standards by choosing from Common Core, Ontario Curriculums, or your own custom-created standards (or IEP goals?). Select your own schedule by choosing days of the week and time periods. The site also supports custom rotations up to an eight-day length. Attach files, edit, set off days, or share schedules easily with links in the software. Print finished plans or save as a PDF. You can also email plans at any time. The free version of this application supports up to 100 lesson plans and 25 MB of storage.
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tag(s): classroom management (135)

In the Classroom

Create your lesson plans using this application easily from anywhere you have computer access. Share lesson plans with other teachers when team planning. If you need a printed copy of lesson plans, easily print them in PDF format upon completion of planning. Use this tool to email "last-minute" substitute lesson plans into school.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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UnShortMe - Unshort.me

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool reveals full urls for links that have been shortened using URL shortener tools (like bit.ly, tinyurl.com and others). Many of the URLs created by the shortening sites are...more
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This tool reveals full urls for links that have been shortened using URL shortener tools (like bit.ly, tinyurl.com and others). Many of the URLs created by the shortening sites are blocked by school content filters (because the shortener websites are actually blocked). Try un-shortening the URL with this tool to access the content and to know what you are headed for! Enter the URL and click the button. Shortened urls can also hide undesirable content, so seeing the "real" url can prevent embarrassment such as opening something unexpected in front of others.

tag(s): internet safety (106)

In the Classroom

Use this to access sites especially those shared with your PLN through RSS or Twitter. Many times, the original link is not blocked but the shortened URL is because of the shortener service's url. Save this tool in your favorites to access when needed.
 

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Fakebook - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you ...more
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Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you if you do not select one.) Of course you will need to use a Creative Commons or other copyright-safe image. You can also use autoselect from a websearch, edit the profile, and your page is almost ready. You must add at least one post and one friend to save work. Choose "save" from the options on top right side of the page, enter a password, and your unique url for your Fakebook page appears. Be sure to copy and save this link as it is the only time it is given in the setup process. Here is an example created in less than a minute. Page creation is quick and easy with a small learning curve. Flash is needed only to watch the introduction video, not use the site/tool. There is a downloadable Word doc "startup guide" for those who prefer written, illustrated directions.
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tag(s): book reports (35), creative writing (166), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Engage and create interest in classroom learning with Fakebook. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Fakebook page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Have students create a timeline of any historical event (the page should be named for the event). Use Fakebook to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, then share with students while studying the material. To use Fakebook to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist is science class, create a Fakebook page for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the page to describe "the life" of that atom or element. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Fakebook page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Share a Fakebook page with students to demonstrate proper netiquette and social sharing. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make Fakebook one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. We could pretend that they do not know what Facebook looks like, but we would be deluding ourselves!

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ClassTools - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in!...more
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Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in! Make games public on their website or blog using the link provided upon completion. Templates include Fakebook, Tweet Generator, an SMS conversation (text message) simulator, QR Treasure Hunt, Fishbone, Random Name Generator, Burger Diagram (essay writing), Countdown Timer, and many more. The complete list of templates is on the right sidebar of the site. Follow the easy step-by step directions provided. View the video tutorials on the main page to learn more.
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tag(s): essays (21), qr codes (21), social networking (112), spelling (168), twitter (50), vocabulary (323), word choice (26), word study (80)

In the Classroom

The possibilities abound in nearly any subject area. Be sure to check out all of the free templates to use. Use the many tools yourself or have your students create a Fakebook page or use the Tweet Generator to present information in any subject area. Create a Fakebook page about a famous historical person or government figure in social studies or science class. Share the Burger Diagram for writing essays. Use the Arcade Game Maker to create practice activities for students who need the extra help. Create a random word generator with vocabulary from a Science or Social Studies unit to review before testing. Allow students to create Venn diagrams to be posted on the class website using information from current lessons. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Save this site in your Favorites on your teacher computer!

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WishyBox - WishyBox.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase....more
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Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase. Organize using the drag and drop features on the site. Make your list private or share with family, friends, or the world. Gift purchases are not shared with the owner of the list, only family or friends, thus keeping the surprise of gift giving alive!

tag(s): service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Parents often want to donate items to classrooms or schools but may not know what is needed. Create a WishyBox list for your classroom so others can share the joyful gift of learning! This is a great tool to share at Back to School Night! Make a list of books needed for your classroom library, items needed for classroom centers, extra supplies, etc. Share with your Parent Teacher Organization as a resource for creating a wish list for items for the school library, playground, or any other school items. Use this site for a community service project for your classroom. Create a WishyBox list for a family in need in your community and have students bring in items to donate. Use WishyBox as a real world way to extend the text to show.

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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.
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tag(s): video (254)

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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Infinite Canvas - Microsoft Live Labs

Grades
K to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas"...more
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Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas" presentation using image URLs. To add multiple images, use a semi-colon after each URL. All added images will appear according to the sequence in which you have added the URLs. At the time of this review, Infinite Canvas does not support uploading images directly. You can use any online image, so place your images on a web services such as Flickr, Photobucket, ImageShack or Imgur. Browse such services to fetch interesting Creative Commons licensed images. Note that there is no way to add text unless it is an online image. After you have entered the image URLs, click Save and enter your "Comic Name", "Comic Passcode." Author's name, and Save again. Remember your passcode, or you will not be able to save edits. You can prevent projects from showing in the public pages by unchecking the "Publish to Directory" box, but you will need to SAVE the url on your own so you can find it again. This might be a safer option for content created by classes or students. Note:There are many publicly created comic strips/presentations on the main page. Several are not classroom appropriate. Please preview any that you plan to share with students or direct them to the tool itself, bypassing the shared projects.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (266), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Map your entire lesson, chapter, or unit visually on one canvas. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students to help them visualize as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great review if you were doing this on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you could post this to your wiki, web page, or even give students the URL of the Infinite Canvas for them to review as needed. However, you do not have to stop there. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create visual timelinesor photo montages of events relevant to the curriculum. Have students create an Infinite Canvas for different events, and then post the link of their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Infinite Canvases. Speech/language teachers, ESL/ELL teachers, or world language teachers could create "comics" to have students discuss orally as a way to practice vocabulary and language skills. Art classes can collect images to illustrate a design element or a period in Art History. Create a visual "name it and claim it" montage of paintings for students to identify the artist or time period.

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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.
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tag(s): communities (35), DAT device agnostic tool (198), newspapers (94)

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 (88), posters (36)

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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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 (123)

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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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!
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tag(s): organizational skills (122)

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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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 (135), video (254)

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.
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tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), 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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Mind Maple Mind Mapping Software - MindMaple Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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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...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.
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tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), timelines (62)

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
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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...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 (100), DAT device agnostic tool (198), organizational skills (122), portfolios (28)

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 (323), vocabulary development (125)

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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Inanimate Alice - Kate Pullinger

Grades
4 to 12
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of ...more
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of eight and follow her episodic story into her twenties, when she becomes a world class animator and designer for a huge company. Your actions and choices take the story forward. As a little girl, Alice likes to draw and create games on her handheld device. She animates her imaginary friend, Brad. Visit the About link to learn more about this intriguing and interactive story. There is also a Teach With Alice page. The American Association of School Librarians recognized Inanimate Alice as a 2012 Best Website for Teaching and Learning.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

This polished site offers a Starters Activity Booklet (immediately available for download) and a Teacher Education Pack available through registration with an email address. These are comprehensive lessons aligned with Reading Literature: Common Core State Standards in language arts. From the makers of Inanimate Alice: "... the level of interactivity starts out low in episode one, increasing with each subsequent episode in order to reflect Alice's own growing abilities, we've found that we can take an audience unfamiliar with multimedia fiction with us. Educators like Inanimate Alice because of this; students from primary to post-graduate level find the work engaging."

You can use this site with younger children on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Older students will enjoy exploring the story on their own using headphones or earbuds. Have older students work in small groups, completing the lessons provided. Be prepared for lots of "on task" chatter from your students about this delightful site.

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Pandora - Pandora Media, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Pandora is a customizable popular music streaming service based on the Music Genome Project. Enter the name of a musician or group to find a "channel" made up of singe ...more
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Pandora is a customizable popular music streaming service based on the Music Genome Project. Enter the name of a musician or group to find a "channel" made up of singe by that artist/group and other songs that have similar characteristics: lyrics, rhythm, style, etc. The "genome" sorts and matches the musical characteristics of the artist or of a particular song. Register for free (requires email). Then as you listen, click "like" to teach Pandora your preferences. Read more about the Music Genome Project under "About" in the footer of the page. There is a paid version of Pandora, but the few commercials in the free version are tolerable. Pandora also has free apps versions to use on mobile devices, and your account is accessible from all devices.
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tag(s): lyrics (20), music theory (43), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

In music classes, use Pandora to open discussion about elements and styles of music. Play a channel long enough for students to hear a few selections, then ask them to figure out what the different songs have in common, perhaps besides an artist. Why does the work of another artist show in the same "channel"? While studying lyrics as poetry in an English/Language Arts class, compare lyrics of songs from the same channel. How are they similar? What other song lyrics might you add to this channel?

Use a Pandora channel as background during a discussion of certain decades of the 20th century or have students find/create channels that represent an era such as the Civil War period. Have them explain their "mix" and why it is representative. Play a Pandora channel as a writing prompt or during art activities to promote creative expression. During a unit on how to study, be sure to offer Pandora as a customizable way for students to create an auditory "study environment." World language teachers can find artists whose lyrics use the language they are teaching to build listening skills. Elementary teachers and ESL/ELL teachers can use channels with children's songs for vocabulary or other class activities.

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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 (166), digital storytelling (144), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55)

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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