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Kids Web Japan - Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan

Grades
3 to 9
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introduce Japan to school-aged students around the world through this site. It is divided into several different portions for exploring, beginning with Explore Japan which contains...more
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introduce Japan to school-aged students around the world through this site. It is divided into several different portions for exploring, beginning with Explore Japan which contains maps, calendars, and basic facts about Japan. Learn about popular culture in the play portion where information is presented about biggest fads in Japan, virtual culture to try out online, games, and quizzes. Another interesting part of the site is the Explore section to discover different aspects of the country from climate to housing and government. Find out about Japanese schools, cities, and young artists in the Try box that offers information and virtual visits to different areas of the country. This site is viewable in seven different languages.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), japan (61), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard and allow students to explore on their own or in pairs. Assign different portions of the site to groups of students to create multimedia presentations for the class. Use the site to create Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast life in Japan with life in the United States. Take a virtual field trip to Japan by exploring different cities and cultural activities offered on the site. Find a recipe for one of the Japanese foods listed on the site and make it to try in class. Assign cooperative learning groups a specific part of this site to explore. Challenge groups to make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Doctor Doctor Lesson - Genki English

Grades
K to 4
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes...more
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes it easy for language learners to acquire body part name knowledge easily. The video and song lyrics make the "Body Part" lesson entertaining and memorable. There is also a "Make a Face" interactive. To use the video part, download the "Realvideo" player. This is about the only items that are FREE at this site, but they are still worth a look if teaching body parts or expressions of the face.

In order to get the "free" printable cards, worksheets, and acompanying language games you must buy the Teacher's Set, Superpack, or Download Pack. However, the video and songs ARE free and fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): faces (3), human body (121), preK (281), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site to introduce basic English to ESL/ELL students in a fun and energetic way. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that 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 resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NFB Kids: The Mission - NFB one

Grades
2 to 8
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. ...more
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. Hover over the eclectic array of devices in "The Lab" to see movement or to enter a portion of the lab. Read the beginning screens carefully for pointers on completing each mission. View related links and other materials in "The Desk." Learn about scientists, scientific facts, and other interesting information in "The Library." While playing the games, help screens do not appear to guide you. You are sent back to the start of the game or the section.

At the time of this review, the link to "Your Log" (at the lab) was not active. You may want students to use "traditional" paper to take notes for their log.

Note that the small black bar across the top of the screen takes you to other NFB ites and may lead students off track. The one notable option is to click "Francais" at top right and discover the same activities in French!

tag(s): electricity (88), elements (36), forces (45), magnetism (36), motion (59), rockets (14), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use these great interactives for individual work or as a group activity. For example, use the "Eyes on the Sky Mission Game" to explore the forces and fuels needed to launch a rocket, identification of various space objects, and other skills. The "Keep your Cool Mission" activity requires players to fill the compressor with freon and put all the articles back in place.

Many topics related to physical science can be researched and discussed from these activities. Discuss forces and motion, different types of fuels, how various appliances work, etc. Bring in related environmental and societal issues, especially changes throughout the years. Research various types of rocket design throughout the years and the technical advancements that caused these changes.

Have students complete multimedia research projects to share their findings. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

French teachers will enjoy the various French language versions of the games to give students practice following instructions and applied language in engaging activities. Great practice!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teach Magazine - teachmagazine.com

Grades
K to 12
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Although this magazine is designed for Canadian teachers, articles of interest include topics that speak to international concerns, including articles about museums and art openings...more
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Although this magazine is designed for Canadian teachers, articles of interest include topics that speak to international concerns, including articles about museums and art openings in other countries, science events, using technology in the classroom, disabilities, international charities and much more. Issues other than the current are archived in pdf format. The magazine also addresses current events issues from the states that affect Canadian thought and education. With part of the magazine offerings in French, this magazine could be a useful language tool, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): canada (30), french (88), museums (49)

In the Classroom

This magazine is mostly geared toward the professional in you. But delve deeper and explore to find some excellent ideas to incorporate in your classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 8
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories,...more
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories, and the multilingual jumping off point is unique. Hear the word only or see images and hear the word using the video tab. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), hebrew (14), pronunciation (44), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Besides using for world language classes and limited English speaking students, refer your students with speech difficulties to this site whose clear pronunciation is helpful.

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Books Should Be Free - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (42), fluency (23), french (88), german (64), literature (275), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (96), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

Comments

Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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REFORMA - UCLA

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a resource for those interested in building Spanish resources in libraries and helping Hispanics discover and use libraries. Contains listings of Hispanic sources and information....more
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This site is a resource for those interested in building Spanish resources in libraries and helping Hispanics discover and use libraries. Contains listings of Hispanic sources and information. Developed at UCLA.

tag(s): spanish (108)

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
42 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership in this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or using templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire thing online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books in a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), writing (359)

In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (84), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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EZSchool - EZSchool

Grades
K to 12
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EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements,...more
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EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements, it is easy to navigate by grade level, subject, or more specific topics such as grammar, writing, and vocabulary for English, or word problems, geometry, and algebra for math, biology and chemistry for science, as well as Spanish, Japanese, and Hindi language activities. There are also SAT/PSAT practice questions with detailed answers. All materials are free to use, print, and distribute for use in the classroom or at home. The website is frequently updated with new activities. Weekly updates to the site are offered on the home page.

tag(s): grammar (216), japan (61), japanese (42), spanish (108), vocabulary (323), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Reinforce learning with these supplemental materials. Your students may practice as much as they want - for free! Print worksheets to leave in a folder for emergency substitute lesson plans or for homework, provide the link on your classroom web page or wiki for students to easily access from any computer, and project the interactives and other learning activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. You will love using the cool online tool, Ad Out, (reviewed here), that makes the page you are using ad free. Note that some websites may be blocked. Also, check on your school computers to make sure that iAd Outis not blocked by your district's filter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hands Off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Learning - TeachersFirst/Candace Hackett Shively

Grades
K to 12
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If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally...more
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If you have an IWB, use it well. These pages, filled with practical ideas and examples for student-directed use of the interactive whiteboard as a collaborative learning space, originally accompanied a presentation by Candace Hackett Shively at the ISTE 2011 conference. Find specific ideas and web tools for making the IWB a student tool and avoiding the trap of being a teacher-Vanna (or Vance). See examples and classroom management tips to share this kinesthetic learning tool among students and leverage its capabilities in student-centered activities. The presentation is brand-agnostic, though some of the examples use SMART brand software (viewable with SMART Notebook Express, a free online tool, reviewed here). There are downloadable handouts and files along with the many suggestions.

tag(s): iwb (31)

In the Classroom

Teachers in any subject and grade level will find ideas for IWB learning in their classroom. Make this professional information a self-guided tour to improve your use of a new or existing IWB. Share it with colleagues for an informal inservice session. Everything is here for you to explore and learn. If you are in charge of leading professional development about IWBs, this new perspective on student-centered use will send Vanna packing and inspire many new avenues for learning.
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Digital Play - Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley

Grades
2 to 12
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all...more
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Digital Play is a collection of ESL lesson plans written in blog format. Supporting materials such as pictures, vocabulary lists, writing prompts, and technical support items are all grouped together with the lesson plans. Many of the activities are in game format. To get an overall view of the lesson plans, go to the top menu bar, and click on "Quick Scan." Lesson plans are divided by ability levels, and target language skills to be learned are included in the brief description there.

Please preview before sharing specific portions of this site with students, as some are designed for older students and may include a more violent tone than you would want to use with elementary students. Content changes frequently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Lessons on Digital Play could be quickly adapted for use in any foreign language class. You can receive updates on new lessons added from many networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. These lessons could also be adapted to the primary classroom to help develop sentence fluency.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition - Ambient Design

Grades
3 to 10
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Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art...more
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Traditional art media become digital with the free ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition paint program. Pencil, chalk, paint and marker tools smear, smudge, blend,and flow just like real art materials. You and your students can paint with thinned oils, use wet or dry markers, soften the pencil and control the hardness of the crayon, and much more. Scroll down the page to find the FREE 2.6 Starter download instead of the 30 day free trial of ArtRage 3.0.

tag(s): graphic design (35), photography (160)

In the Classroom

ArtRage 2.6 Starter Edition can be downloaded and installed on machines running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later. Check with your IT department or administrator for download and installation approval and help (if needed). ONly the need to download and install pushes this tool to the "Edge."

The ArtRage 2.6 interface is simple and intuitive, with large icons which clearly identify tools and options. While the program has a user guide and the website offers a quick start tutorial plus several technique-specific tutorials, fifteen minutes of clicking on icons, exploring the menus and playing with tools will give you a good start creating works of art. Teachers and students who are familiar with standard paint programs included in Windows and Mac machines will quickly grasp the basics and enjoy exploring the artistic possibilities of ArtRage 2.6. The program supports English, French or German language labels on tools and menus.

Be sure to ask student "experts" to demonstrate the ArtRAge tools on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use ArtRage 2.6 to create illustrations, drawings and paintings for storybooks, book reviews and author posters in English or language arts activities. Math and science concepts can be explained through illustrative drawings, such as a diagram of a flower's parts or the steps in oxidation. Make visual representations of mathematical operations or concepts such as fractions. Have ELL or foreign language students import images into ArtRage 2.6, trace and color them to create unique vocabulary cards and posters illustrating new words. Recognize and celebrate your students by importing their digital photos and applying textures and effects to create special birthday cards, awards, bulletin board pictures, and desktop signs. Share students' curriculum-related digital art projects on your class web page, blogs, or wiki (with parent permission) as well as your bulletin board. There are no safety concerns with this program because it is locally installed and does not involve interaction with the "general public" or social networking.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Read the Words - Educational Utilities

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered ...more
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Read the Words is a site that allows students to submit almost any text material and HEAR it read aloud. The site will read the text aloud. Languages offered include English, Spanish, and French. Students can select the speed at which the text will be read. You can use a wide variety of formats including Microsoft Word, PDF, a website URL, anything copied and pasted, or from RSS feeds. Likewise, students can listen to the oral text online, download it to the desktop or MP3 players, post readings online in several forms, and even create podcasts with the selected material. Users can even modify the reading avatar's appearance by selecting from those available, both male and female.

Beware: if you are having students use this site, "inappropriate" words will not be filtered, and anything typed is pronounced. So be sure students are aware of guidelines and consequences.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Primary or special ed reading teachers may want to use this site for students to practice reading fluency "side by side" with the online avatar. World language teachers and teachers of limited English speakers will love this website as reinforcement for language learning. Students can listen as they read. They can also practice their pronunciation and compare it with any selected avatar. Use the oral readings on an interactive whiteboard or projector (with speakers turned up) for class dictations and discussion starters. Preview the vocabulary words in any file or website by selecting the read/edit option before students listen to it. Check school policies regarding individual student accounts on web sites. Here are some tips on managing student memberships that require email.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bitstrips - Core Matrix

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the...more
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props and settings. Several actions are available: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, typing dialog into the bubbles, scaling items in the frame, rotating items, and more. There is a "Bitstrips for Schools" link; this feature does offer a 30-day free trial, however it is fee-based after 30-days.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.

Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).

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Flashcard Stash - WharfWorks LLC

Grades
2 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards,...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. Flashcard Stash is not just another flashcard maker. Here you certainly can make your own flashcards, but you can also find ready-made flashcards for 100 Common SAT words, 501 Spanish or French Verbs, 100 words you should know, and Words to impress your friends. You can choose to hear the words pronounced correctly, too. Flashcard Stash also uses multiple choice and fill in the blank questions, and calculates the optimal time for review. Teachers get a free account that can create classes and share lists of flashcards with your students.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Joining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.

Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."

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View Pure - Veetri

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
View Pure enables you to search YouTube and show videos from it without the annoying "extras" on your screen. Wishing you could "just show" YouTube videos to your classes? Looking ...more
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View Pure enables you to search YouTube and show videos from it without the annoying "extras" on your screen. Wishing you could "just show" YouTube videos to your classes? Looking for a way to take away the clutter and often inappropriate related videos that always pop up on seemingly innocent searches? Trying to find a way to share videos and still follow the acceptable use policy? There are three ways to go about this process. You can use the search tool to find and then show a video. You can copy and paste a link from YouTube into the page, or you can install the tool into your bookmarks and click on it to "purify" the videos. A special *note*: this site claims to be useful with video sites other than YouTube, however after trying a number of different video sites, the only successful one was YouTube. The main page for the View Pure site does include some minor advertisements.

tag(s): safety (89)

In the Classroom

How often do you find great clips and video shorts from YouTube and you can't show them or are afraid to show them even if you can get them through the school filter? Try using this to show clips or long videos from to your class via the interactive whiteboard or projector. There are some great, clean "Bill Nye" video portions that can be found and shared using this site for science class.

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