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HeartPower! Online - American Heart Association

Grades
K to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart...more
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HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart works. The curriculum guide is loaded with printables, lesson plans, stories, songs, games and other science-based resources organized according to grade level. There is no fee or registration for this site. Just click and go!

tag(s): heart (43), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

The site is so simple, you can utilize the entire pre-prepared curriculum and lesson plans or just add pieces of it to your current curriculum. Integrate the lessons into your language arts component as cross-curricular activities. The pre-K to 1st grade activities and curriculum are available in Spanish. Choose the Spanish version for ESL/ELL lessons or enrichment activities. The Spanish version would be a great supplement for secondary Spanish teachers. Have your science or health class create a Heart Health wiki or use Mapskip (reviewed here) to map out walking landmarks for your community.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), presidents (131), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

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. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. 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" with color coding, images, and more.

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20 Questions - 20Q.netInc.

Grades
5 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
This intriguing site has the user choose an "answer," and then the computer asks 20 questions trying to determine what your answer is. The answers to the 20 questions aren't ...more
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This intriguing site has the user choose an "answer," and then the computer asks 20 questions trying to determine what your answer is. The answers to the 20 questions aren't just YES or NO; they also include SOMETIMES, PROBABLY, IRRELEVANT, and others.

When you arrive at the site, click your language (there are MANY languages to choose from). Enter your gender, age, and location (optional). Then choose the "game" you wish to try. Some are more commercial (Disney, The Simpsons, or Star Trek). Others have educational value (Harry Potter, Earth, or Classic, Famous people). This is a fun and challenging activity. There are disclaimers that the "game gets smarter" the more you play because the game compiles facts over time. It is involving and fun to play. The site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers could have students research a person, place or thing and then use their research to play twenty questions against the computer. It could also be used as review if posted to the class wiki and then completed independently by students at home. Use this as a first day or first week activity, have students try the 20 question game about names and see if the computer can figure out their name. Use the Earth activity for geography practice in cooperative learning groups or as a class activity. In world language classes, choose the appropriate language to practice vocabulary about animals and other categories of information. As a culminating project in any class, have students create their own 20 question activity and quiz the class! You will be teaching HOTS (higher order thinking skills) as students use classification to create their questions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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KML Factbook - CIA World Factbook

Grades
4 to 12
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Combine data sets from International agencies with the visualization of Google Earth 3D or Google Maps 2D for a great way to look at data. Search data such as population ...more
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Combine data sets from International agencies with the visualization of Google Earth 3D or Google Maps 2D for a great way to look at data. Search data such as population growth rates, birth rates, education expenditures, and age structure diagrams by clicking and highlighting the data set and then clicking the "preview in map button." Click "download kml file" to save this file for others to see. This file can be embedded into a blog, wiki, or website. Choose between 2D, 3D, or data views for the information as well as using different coloring for portions of data. Rotate the globe on the screen to view other areas. Click on a country to view a pop up box that displays detailed information. Data sets can be downloaded through the link at the bottom. If you do not have access to Google Earth (free, loadable) software, you can use the data in Google Maps without installing anything.

tag(s): countries (76), data (148), population (60), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Assign students various countries within a data set to make comparisons. Tie the data to biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world. Bring a greater understanding to economic and environmental issues currently a problem in many countries throughout the world. World language classes can see this data to help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Have students use an online graphing tool such as Chartgo, reviewed here to display results. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online Venn Diagram, such as the one (reviewed here). Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country using a resource such as Bookemon, reviewed here. How about having students research using this site and then create a project using Woices, (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Study Stack - John Weidner

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is filled with study tools to help students learn information in a variety of subject areas. Stacks of topics related to geography, history, math, languages, medical, tests...more
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This site is filled with study tools to help students learn information in a variety of subject areas. Stacks of topics related to geography, history, math, languages, medical, tests (SAT, ACT, etc.), science and more are linked with collections of learning tools that include virtual study cards, matching games, word search puzzles, and hangman games. There really is something here for nearly all subject areas and grade levels! Students can select the tool that works best for them and work at their own pace until they are satisfied with their progress. If you can't find a stack to fit your needs, you can edit existing lists or create customized study stacks. The site also allows you to print out study cards, or export flash cards to study them via cell phones, PDA, or iPod. Email the stacks to peers or connect with Study Stack through Facebook. Some of the activities require Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46), greek (41), hebrew (14), latin (22), test prep (96), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Encourage parents to use this site as a study-at-home tool for their students. Link your blog or website to this site by entering your url at the bottom of the homepage. Make sure your guidance counselor at your school is aware of this site as a tool for studying those college entrance tests. Be sure to save this site in your favorites.

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Educational Videos for kids - NeoK12

Grades
K to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This incredible site is a database of videos on an abundance of topics! They are arranged by topic and very easy to access. The general subjects include physical science, life ...more
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This incredible site is a database of videos on an abundance of topics! They are arranged by topic and very easy to access. The general subjects include physical science, life science, earth and space, social studies, math, English, and the human body. Each of the subjects includes 10+ topics. And each of the topics includes countless videos. You truly have to see this collection to believe it! There are lessons "ready to go" on video: Civil Rights Movement, Ice Age, Allergies, Subtracting Negative Numbers, Electricity, and MANY others.

NOTE: Although the videos are listed on this site, they actually "live" elsewhere on the Internet, so some videos may be blocked in your school (those on YouTube, for example). Always pretest to be sure the video you hope to use is accessible at school!

tag(s): ecosystems (88), insects (69), phonics (75), probability (130), solar system (119), speaking (24), statistics (122), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a great site to use when planning for substitute teachers, as an introduction to a new unit, or even as additional information on a specific topic.

Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos about topics being studied in social studies, science, math, or nearly any other topic. Share the videos using Teachers.TV reviewed here. Include this link on your class web page for students to access outside of schools for reinforcement and further exploration of concepts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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All my faves - All my faves

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Not sure what sites exist for your topic? Start here and find sites listed by icon for Art, Encyclopedia, History, Languages, Science, Writing skills, Music, and numerous other topics....more
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Not sure what sites exist for your topic? Start here and find sites listed by icon for Art, Encyclopedia, History, Languages, Science, Writing skills, Music, and numerous other topics. Whether you are searching for research information, enrichment, or tutorials - check out this site. Notice that TeachersFirst is among the "faves" for teaching!

tag(s): dictionaries (56), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Why search for these sites, when the links can all be found in one place? Use this site in combination with TeachersFirst's rich reviews. Students can use these links as a springboard to research and projects. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites! There is a lot to explore. List this site on your class website and/or wiki for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Bab.la - bab.la

Grades
K to 12
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese,...more
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, and French). View dictionaries that exist between languages, hear audio of the translations, take quizzes, or try language games. Students can play language activities such as hangman, scrambled words, memorize, or match it, as well. Customize each game by clicking "change" next to the "settings." Choose different languages, ease of play, and categories of words.

tag(s): chinese (48), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Use this translator for understanding foreign words or how words compare between different languages. Use this in a world cultures class when looking at other cultures and to learn or use basics of their language. Have students create online books defining newly discovered words (in other languages). Use an online book making tool such as Bookemon reviewed here.

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Bubbabrain - Bubbabrain

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for interactive review activities for your subject area? Use Bubbabrain's vast array of activities created for many levels and subjects. Registration is not required to play....more
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Looking for interactive review activities for your subject area? Use Bubbabrain's vast array of activities created for many levels and subjects. Registration is not required to play. When Game ID is checked (this is the automatic default for the site,) you choose a level ranging from Elementary to College (be sure to click the circle in the appropriate grade level) and then choose a subject area from the drop down box at your level. Subject areas vary by grade level and may include: telling time, government, family and consumer science, world languages, sociology, technology, and countless others.

Click the "Go" button to start your activity. Click on the correct answer to the question and then a new question appears. Prompts to try again appear if the answer is wrong and a percent right appears on your screen as you progress. Click on the teacher's link in the upper right hand corner for more information on becoming registered. Once registered, teachers can create their own games for the site. Your teacher ID can be entered by students to access created games.

tag(s): psychology (64), sociology (22), time (144)

In the Classroom

Use these activities for review of concepts or terminology with your class on specific topics/subjects. Wish there were a review game for a missing topic? Request a teacher ID, and have groups of students create the questions. Enter the information for the game and students can review by playing their game or one created by another group. Share the student-created games on your interactive whiteboard or projector.These games would be great to both help students review and help them figure out what kind of study methods work best for them.

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Funnelbrain - Funnelbrain

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further...more
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Be smarter and use smarter flashcards! Browse, use, or create flashcards for studying in a variety of courses from basic to advanced. Take flashcard creation one step further with this free site that not only uses collaboration in the creation of flashcards, but also chooses the next cards based upon correct/incorrect answers in order to move information from short to long term memory. Add explanation, links, and mnemonics to the flashcards. Create and join groups for creation and study of the flashcards. For an overview, watch the video tutorial to learn how best to use Funnelbrain.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create a new group by finding an already listed school or adding your own. Create flashcards easily by entering the question, answer, explanations, and mnemonics in the appropriate tabs. Students can create a profile and join or create a group.

Consider creating a class account that has a global login and password that all students can access. Students would need to be cautioned against deleting or changing flashcards created by other students. Students would not be able to join groups using this option. All projects are public. Check your school policy for posting student work online.

Create flashcards for students to study or have students create them as an assignment. Create the original questions of the flashcards and assign students to determine the answers, find links for additional information, and add hints and mnemonics to complete the deck. Have groups of students use the flashcards for study time and for critique of the flashcard deck creator(s.) No matter the topic or subject, this flashcard site has great uses for student learning. Use flash cards for terminology, test review, or reinforcement. Have students create and critique sets as the actual assessment, replacing traditional tests and quizzes.

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ePals - ePals, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). The free student email feature is one of the most useful features...more
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ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). The free student email feature is one of the most useful features of ePals, since complete teacher moderation is available. You may be able to convince a more conservative school administration to permit student email using this tool. This site is the largest worldwide community for global collaboration. Don't worry about the language barrier, there is built-in language translation! This content-rich site also offers lessons, interactives, printables, and more. The "Focus Areas" include Biodiversity, Black History, Election/Inauguration, Geography Central, and Human Rights. In addition, you can click on the "Projects" link to find several ready to use projects (Habitats, Maps, Natural Disasters, Water, and others). Click on "ePals Tour" to view an informative video clip about the site, downloadable brochures, and more.

tag(s): black history (59), disasters (39), environment (317), habitats (84), maps (287), natural disasters (20), water (130)

In the Classroom

Navigating this site is rather simple. Simply click on one of the tabs across the top of the website: Home, Focus Areas, Projects, Connect, Forums, How-To, and ePal Tours. Parts of this site require log-in. Registration does require an email address. The site does offer SchoolMail, the leader for FREE "kid-safe" email.

A lot of safety features are already put into place at this site. The SchoolMail (email service offered at this site) offers monitored mail, instant translations, spell-check, anti-spam filters, and virus protection. To learn more about the safety features at this site, check out the ePals Tour link.

This site offers an amazing assortment of class activities and possibilities. Collaborate with schools in Africa (or 200 other countries) for a geography project. Have your students find ePals to correspond with and practice writing skills in English or in a language you are studying. Use the ready to go lessons and interactives at the "Focus Areas" and "Projects" links. Get additional ideas for projects, by visiting the "Projects" link or propose one of your own based on ideas from TeachersFirst suggestions you read in other reviews, lesson plans, and articles. After viewing one of the informative videos, challenge your students to study one of the topics available at this site and create their own videos. Use a tool such as TeachersTube, to share the video clips, reviewed here.

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Litetype - litetype.com

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Imagine typing a note in Hindi! Simply click on the language of your choice and start typing! The "note" will show up in the text box in the new language. ...more
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Imagine typing a note in Hindi! Simply click on the language of your choice and start typing! The "note" will show up in the text box in the new language. This site helps students search, type, and translate in more than 50 foreign languages. Of course the site has the more common languages: French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and others. But there is also an eclectic mix of other lesser known (to Americans) languages: Kazach, Latvian, Macedonian, Farsi Persian, Tamil, Thai, Swedish, and MANY more.

The FAQ section is extremely helpful, explaining how to use the site with different browsers and languages. It also instructs those who use the site how to zoom, change the "Skins" of the site, and how to convert text to html. Once a student or teacher clicks on a specific language, a separate keyboard appears on the screen that features any diacritical markings or other special language features. This page also contains links to relevant search engines, videos, maps, dictionaries, and other reference tools. Be aware: this site does include some advertisements. This site uses Java and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

As you study English cognates and vocabulary, you can compare the same word in different languages or to make quick comparisons of multiple languages to see the "families" of world languages and etymology. Share this site with your international students and also with students studying foreign languages. They may already know about it as a tool for doing "translation" homework, but you can use it to demonstrate the power of idioms and why direct translation is not so simple! Another strength of this site is in being able to access web-based tools in another language.

Language students will be able to do a complete travel search in another language, for example, search, select, plan, and purchase a trip using another language before writing it up. You can also copy and paste the translations, by clicking "select." Why not have students create a multimedia presentation using this site? Make an online book using the new language (with translations on the next page, if necessary). Or create personal vocabulary books of words from a given language or comparisons of words from multiple languages. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Radio Lingua Network - Radio Lingua

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee...more
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee Break Spanish" and "One Minute French." Some of the programs require students to subscribe using a simple form, but most do not require any registration. They can then search the entire lesson content or just search by language. Focus languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, and many other languages, primarily European, though Mandarin and Japanese podcasts are also available. Students will love being able to load the lessons on their Ipods, mobile phones, and computers! The "Guided Tour" section of the page allows students and teachers to learn how to use the site and focus on whatever their particular aims for study are. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): german (64), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Share this site, on your interactive whiteboard or projector, with world language students, particularly independent learners at whom the site is aimed. Students getting ready to take school-sponsored trips to European countries, for example, could benefit from the quick introduction and easy access this site provides to simple language lessons. ESL and ELL students will enjoy using the English podcasts as supplements to their in-school English instruction. Why not challenge students to create their own language podcasts using a site such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bubblr - Pimpampum.net

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create free comic strips from flickr pictures. Search tags in flickr or search by user to choose pictures then add words in the caption bubbles. If you use flickr ...more
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Create free comic strips from flickr pictures. Search tags in flickr or search by user to choose pictures then add words in the caption bubbles. If you use flickr reviewed here, you can set up your own tagged collection of images for students to use, as well. Quickly publish, email, or embed your comic strip.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Knowledge of use of tags and familiarity with flickr is required. Each picture is labeled with the title and the picture creator's name.

Type in the name of a topic in the tag area or the name of a known flickr user. Entering information into both fields is not required. Pictures will appear in the top area. Choose a picture you wish to use by clicking on it. To add another picture, choose the options in "Add frames." Drag a caption bubble onto the picture and type in your caption. Easily delete pictures by clicking the "Delete" button at the bottom of the picture. When finished, click "Publish." Comics can be deleted afterward, and sharing gives the option for sending an email link or using an embed code to include within a website or blog.

Clicking on "...or visit the archive" takes you to other users' content. The archive of this site includes changing "featured" content.

Consider creating anonymous ways to enter names in order to track student contributions. All projects are public. Check your school policy for posting student work online. Written permission is always a good idea.

Use this site for students to take pictures of lab experiment steps and explain the experiment or the concepts behind the experiment. Students can create a story using pictures taken from home and uploaded to a class flickr account. Any school subject can easily use the comic strip generator to show knowledge learned in class. World language or ESL/ELL students can create dialog strips. Reinforce vocabulary by having students create strips with characters using the new words. Assess student understanding of concepts by providing a collection of tagged photos on Flickr and having the class create a Bubblr strip on the interactive whiteboard (collaborating for a whole-class or group grade). Share completed strips on your class web page or wiki. Example created for review: Angiosperms by Mrs. Maine

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Diffen - Diffen

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Spell It - Merriam-Webster

Grades
5 to 12
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For serious lovers of words and their meanings (is there perhaps a future lexicologist in your classroom?), this site offers a wealth of information using examples from 1150 words....more
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For serious lovers of words and their meanings (is there perhaps a future lexicologist in your classroom?), this site offers a wealth of information using examples from 1150 words. Click on Home to get a complete overview of this site. In the "Words From" box, just click on a category: Latin, Slavic Languages, Dutch, Greek, Spanish, and many others. A list of words from that category will appear at the bottom on your screen. Now, click on a word to learn information about that particular word. Click on the "Now You Try" tab to work interactive activities for that word category. Lists of those example words may be printed as well.

Visit the official site for the Scripps National Spelling Bee (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Check out all the links to learn how to study for the Bee, guidelines, and application deadlines. December is the annual deadline for your school's enrollment in the National Bee. This site will have the exact deadline each year. Click on Study Zone to download the Consolidated Word List (a gigantic compilation of 794 pages of words that have been used from 1950 to the present). Students can test their spelling know-how by clicking on the "Test Your Spell It Knowledge" link on the homepage. Flash is required to enjoy the interactive activities, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), french (88), german (64), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), spanish (108), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Share this site (and word lists) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As they study different word etymologies, have students sort copy/pasted selections from these wordlists into categories by language of origin as a drag-and-drop activity on your whiteboard. If you have students who are competitive spellers, encourage participation by introducing this site to them and their families. You may want to list this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

For an interactive cooperative learning project. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the languages shared at this site. Have the groups create a multimedia project to share their new vocabulary. How about an online book created using Bookemon (reviewed here) or their own drag-and-drop activity for the class to use on the interactive whiteboard?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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FORVO - forvo.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Forvo offers word pronunciations in a whopping 213 languages, with more words recorded every day. Besides common languages, there are a host of unusual and even rare and old...more
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Forvo offers word pronunciations in a whopping 213 languages, with more words recorded every day. Besides common languages, there are a host of unusual and even rare and old languages whose words students can hear on the site: Lithuanian, Latin, Tibetan, Franco-Provencal, Walloon, and many others. Speakers of other languages may wish to contribute their own pronunciations for unusual words; all of the speakers on the site are native speakers! Words are organized by languages and also in 6 very general categories which include people, music, countries, etc. The site also includes Google Maps of the areas where the languages are spoken. Files are downloadable to mp3's and other types of recorders. But you can also listen to them directly online without downloading. Native speakers can also dispute recorded pronunciations and request for new languages to be added. There is free membership, but this is only needed if you wish to rate recordings or participate as a contributor.

tag(s): maps (287), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

World language and ESL/ELL classes (using a whole class account) or individual students (if a specific school permits students to join sites) can maintain their own word lists with pronunciations. They can submit words to hear them pronounced by native speakers or pronounce them themselves. A teacher could submit words or assign students to explore and find a list of personal words to learn each week. Students can also compare pronunciations of the same word by several different speakers coming from different countries (Mexican Spanish vs. Spanish from Spain etc.). ESL students will no doubt enjoy disputing the pronunciation of words from their native languages! This is a perfect collaboration of geography and world language classes. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This site could also be useful as a learning center, for students to practice pronunciation. (Don't forget the headsets!) List this link on your class website for students to use for at-home practice!

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Cramberry - Cramberry

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, ...more
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, add, delete, or share with others. Registration is so quick; you can create flash cards within 30 seconds. This website stores your word sets, and an easy login allows you to use them instantly. As you answer the flash cards, Cramberry tracks which cards you answer correctly. It will only flash cards that are giving you problems. Coming soon: you will be able to study on the go with a Cramberry application for your iPod or iPhone! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites. SAT tutors need to know about Cramberry. Sign up all your students (check school policy first!). You may want to use a teacher email account and subaccounts for registration to establish the memberships by "number" and to provide complete monitoring of what students do. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Rotate the job of "card creator" throughout the school year and have the card creator share the word set with the rest of the class. Foreign language teachers will find this a must-have for teaching new words. This site could truly be useful in any subject area that teaches new vocabulary, dates, terms, formulas, and more: history, math, science, reading, etc. Of course, ESL, ELL, and special education students would benefit from the use of this site also.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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